U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services Award $237M in Early Education Grants to 18 States

Archived Information

U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services Award $237M in Early Education Grants to 18 States

October 2, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today that 18 states will receive second year awards under the Preschool Development Grant program to continue their work in expanding access to high-quality preschool for all children.

Expanding access to high-quality preschool is critically important to ensuring that every child in America has the opportunity for lifelong success. This grant program will support building and expanding high-quality preschool in 250 high-need communities across 18 states that span the geographic and political spectrum. This fall, more than 33,000 children from low- to moderate-income families had the chance to start school in a high-quality preschool because of the grants. These second year awards being announced today will enable another 41,000 children in the 18 grantee states the strong start they need for success in school and in life.

Despite the evidence showing the importance of early learning, earlier this summer, House and Senate committees authored partisan spending bills that make significant cuts to programs that provide important services such as health care, public health and safety, job training, and education. Both bills eliminate Preschool Development Grants, a program that is in the middle of building and expanding high-quality preschool in over 200 high-need communities across 18 states that span the geographic and political spectrum.

"Congress has done its most basic job—for now—by not shutting down the government, but they've got a bigger job to do — and that's making smart investments in America's future. Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have put forward a budget that would shut down preschool for 100,000 kids," Duncan said. "There's a growing bipartisan understanding in states that we must expand educational opportunity, starting with our youngest learners. For the sake of our kids and our country, I hope that bipartisan consensus will make its way to Washington sooner rather than later."

Duncan and Smith made the announcement during a press conference at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia.

There is still a huge unmet need across the country for publicly-funded preschool. Approximately 2.4 million 4-year-olds—or a little over half —in the U.S. are not enrolled in publicly-funded preschool, according to the report A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America. The President's budget asks for $750 million in FY2016 to continue Year 3 funding for current grantees and expand the program to more states, the Territories, the Bureau of Indian Education and tribes.

"The first five years of a child's life are critical for building the early foundation needed for success later in school and in life," said Linda Smith, deputy assistant secretary for early childhood development at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "The President's Early Learning Plan builds a continuum from birth through school entry, supporting the research that shows brain development is most rapid in the earliest years. We are pleased to continue to work with these states on the continuum of services for young children."

See below for a list of grantees and awards.

Year 2 Preschool Development Grants Awards

State Year 2 Funding
(FY 2015)
Alabama $17,500,000
Arizona $20,000,000
Arkansas $14,993,000
Connecticut $11,689,109
Hawaii $2,209,981
Illinois $20,000,000
Louisiana $7,127,889
Maine $4,204,720
Maryland $15,000,000
Massachusetts $15,000,000
Montana $10,000,000
Nevada $11,031,983
New Jersey $17,498,109
New York $22,512,886
Rhode Island $5,773,871
Tennessee $17,399,566
Vermont $8,009,167
Virginia $17,500,000
Total $237,450,281

Reduction in Children Served through the Preschool Development Grants in the Republican Plan

State Year 3 Year 4 Total Additional
Children not served if
Program Eliminated (Y3+Y4)
Alabama 1,620 1,620 3,240
Arizona 3,044 3,478 6,522
Arkansas 7,194 7,194 14,388
Connecticut 712 712 1,424
Hawaii 360 360 720
Illinois 10,420 13,760 24,180
Louisiana 2,685 3,045 5,730
Maine 737 796 1,533
Maryland 2,833 2,833 5,666
Massachusetts 755 755 1,510
Montana 1,613 1,633 3,246
Nevada 2,700 2,990 5,690
New Jersey 1,681 1,977 3,658
New York 2,835 3,076 5,911
Rhode Island 864 864 1,728
Tennessee 3,740 3,746 7,486
Vermont 1,571 1,818 3,389
Virginia 3,107 3,139 6,246
Total 48,471 53,796 102,267

Note: This table is based on estimates from state applications. It assumes that under the Republican approach, funding would be eliminated in both 2016 and 2017. http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/fact-sheet-100000-children-low-and-moderate-income-families-could-lose-access-high-quality-preschool-under-2016-house-and-senate-spending-bills