According to the U. S. Department of Education, Georgia is one of 16 states to apply for Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant funds, a $280 million state-level competitive grant program to improve early learning and development. Other state applicants included Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.

The grants are aimed at improving the quality of early learning programs and supporting states’ efforts to design and implement an integrated system of high-quality early learning. Grant awards will last for four years and range from $37.5 million up to $75 million. The U.S. Departments of Education and Health & Human Services will announce winners in December. Read more here.