Eligibility Requirements

A State must meet the following requirements to be eligible to compete for funding under this program:

  1. The Lead Agency must have executed with each Participating State Agency a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which the State must attach to its application, describing the Participating State Agency's level of participation in the grant. At a minimum, the MOU must include an assurance that the Participating State Agency agrees to implement policies and practices, consistent with the State Plan, including to the extent applicable--
    1. Statewide Early Learning and Development Standards;
    2. Statewide Program Standards;
    3. The State's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System;
    4. Statewide Workforce Knowledge and Competencies and progression of credentials; and
    5. Statewide Essential Data Elements that are captured in the State's data system.
  2. The State must have an operational State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care that meets the requirements described in Section 642B(b) of the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9837 b).

Comments

While basing eligibility on the state tiered QRIS system may not focus a state's energy toward the most effective research based strategies, the definition of Program Standards does allow states to implement a set of program standards including teacher or workforce standards.

I am writing in support of the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Boston, to be eligible to be included in the program. Catholic schools play a vital and necessary role in early-childhood and kindergarten ediucation.

- Enrollment in the Catholic early education and kindergarten programs are skyrocketing. Many factors make our schools a parents first choice. This is true in the inner city as well as the suburbs. The high quality and standards, the reasonable cost, increasing parent demand has led to increasing numbers enrolled. Inner city Catholic Schools work with our most vulnerable families by accepting vouchers upto kindergarten, connecting to services within the community, and developing community partnerships to benfit the children.

- Catholic Schools can prove they have narrowed the achievement gap by equipping students at the start of their school career with strong rreadiness skills in literacy and numeracy.

- Catholic Schools educate students from families with a wide range of faiths, because the parents believe strongly on school programs that provide quality academic preparation and character develeopment.

- Catholic schools serve economically diverse families struggling to obtain strong academic programs for their children, so they will be well prepared and have the skills necessary to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Thank you for your consideration

It is very important that Catholic and other non-public schools become eligible for participation in this program. We play a critical role in both early childhood and kindergarten education in Massachusetts and throughout the US. In addition, Catholic pre-school programs are growing in number and enrollment. Our programs offer a high quality curriculum at a very reasonable cost. These are just the types of programs parents need and want and that all children deserve.

It's also important to note that Catholic schools have a proven record of narrowing the achievement gap by helping students start school with strong readiness skills in numeracy and literacy.

Catholic schools serve families from many faiths and all races and ethnicities. Our parents choose our schools because of the strong focus on academic preparation and character development and our low cost when compared with other options.

I urge that Catholic and other non-public schools become eligible for participation in this program for the reasons stated above and to ensure that parents have a full range of affordable school choices for their children.

1. Catholic and other non-public schools should be eligible for participation in this program because of the vital role we play with early-childhood education across the nation and in Massachusetts in particular.

2. Enrollment in Catholic pre-school programs is growing in the Archdiocese of Boston due to our programs’ high quality, reasonable cost and increasing parent demand. We now serve 3,309 pre-school students; an increase of 11 percent since last year.

3. Catholic pre-schools have a proven record of narrowing the achievement gap by helping their students start elementary school with strong readiness skills in numeracy and literacy.

4. Catholic schools serve families from a wide-range of faiths, all of whom value programs focused on strong academic preparation and excellent character development.

5. Research shows that Catholic education advances the public good from an economic, social and civic standpoint.

My name is Russ Wilson and I am the Regional Director for the Pope John PaulII Catholic Academy in Dorhester/Mattapan sections of Boston, MA. Please accept my comments in support of Catholic and Independent school participation in the Race to the Top program.

Our school enrolls upwards of 225 early childhood and kindergarten children yearly. Our strong academic program provides a solid foundation for student success as they enter first grade with strong reading and math literacy skills. Interest in our Academy early childhood and kindergarten is growing, and we are already experiencing full classes with wait lists for the fall.

Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy enrolls 1,300 students and serves families from a wide range of fatihs, all of whom value programs focused on strong academic preparation and character development.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Mr. Russ W. Wilson
Regional Director
Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy
www.popejp2catholicacademy.org

"The future starts today, not tomorrow" - PJPII

There are no mention of Tribe's ability to compete for funding or having MOU's with Lead Agencies.

It is an oversight that Tribes were not allowed to apply for these funds! It is imperative for States to work in partnership with Tribes. The language for this should be in the eligibility criteria.

The requirement here is not clear. Is it intended that the lead agency execute a separate MOU with each participating agency, or a single cross-agency MOU that specifies the common agreements as well as related agreements specific to each participating agency. Second is a better way, probably.

Dr. J.M. Gruendel, CT

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