Colorado today won a $30 million early childhood education grant that will help prepare all young people for kindergarten and for future success in school, thanks in part to the leadership and advocacy of Congressman Jared Polis. Over the next four years, funding from the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top (RTT) Early Learning Challenge fund will be invested in quality enhancement efforts for early childhood education, many of which are already underway. Polis has been the top advocate for funding in the Colorado congressional delegation, having urged the Obama administration to designate a portion of RTT funding for early learning.
"Colorado leads the nation in education reform efforts that foster innovative solutions aimed ensuring that every child can achieve, graduate, and go on to success in life," said Polis. "I am thrilled that our hard work has paid off with this $30 million investment in closing achievement gaps and improving student outcomes. This is just another step toward making Colorado's schools second-to-none so that all children have the opportunity to go as far their talents will take them."
Polis is the author of the Race to the Top Act, which would build on the RTT initiative launched by the administration and Congress in 2009 and strengthen early learning opportunities. The bill encourages and rewards states that demonstrate a strong commitment to bold education reforms. RTT has already sparked 46 states to develop statewide education reform plans.
Polis is also the lead co-sponsor of the Supporting State Systems of Early Learning Act, which would establish the Early Learning Challenge Fund in federal education law, as well as the LEARN Act, which would bolster early literacy, and the Continuum of Learning Act, which would coordinate early learning accountability and teacher professional development with early elementary schools. Polis is working to incorporate these reforms into the larger rewrite of federal education law that would replace No Child Left Behind.