County re­cieves Pre-K ex­pan­sion grants

The Avenue News - - SOLUTIONS -

The Mary­land State De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion’s Di­vi­sion of Early Child­hood has awarded 53 grants to serve four-year-olds in high­qual­ity prekinder­garten class­rooms in Mary­land.

Bal­ti­more County was one of the re­cip­i­ents, re­ciev­ing $660,960 in grant fund­ing.

Each of the State’s 19 school sys­tems that ap­plied have been funded for one or more ad­di­tional PreK class­rooms. In ad­di­tion, com­mu­nity-based and Head Start pro­grams in 12 ju­ris­dic­tions have been funded. The ap­prox­i­mately $26 mil­lion in grant awards will pro­vide four-year-old chil­dren from low-in­come fam­i­lies ac­cess to full-day prekinder­garten in school year 2018-2019.

For the past three years these funds have al­lowed school sys­tems and early child­hood pro­grams to in­crease the length of the day from a half day to a full day, fund highly qual­i­fied and cer­ti­fied Early Child­hood teach­ers in each class­room, and serve more vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren who oth­er­wise would not have ac­cess to the early ed­u­ca­tion they need for suc­cess in school. Mary­land’s statewide plan ex­pands high-qual­ity prekinder­garten, pro­vides in­ten­sive tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance, and en­sures com­pre­hen­sive ser­vices are ac­ces­si­ble in many high-need com­mu­ni­ties.

These grants have been awarded since 2015 us­ing funds that were pro­vided to Mary­land through the fed­eral Preschool De­vel­op­ment Grant – Ex­pan­sion Grant pro­gram and match­ing state funds made pos­si­ble through the pas­sage of the Prekinder­garten Ex­pan­sion Act of 2014 (Se­nate Bill 332).

A to­tal of over $88,216,000 will have been pro­vided through this pro­gram over the four years of the grant.

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