Georgia educators will soon implement new programs for the state’s youngest students.
Governor Nathan Deal announced Thursday the state was one of six to earn a Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont were also awarded RTT-ELC grants.
Georgia will get $51.7 million dollars in grant funding over the next four years. Governor Deal said the state will put that money toward continuing education programs for early learning staff, increasing access to quality early education programs and assessments to improve accountability.
“We will use this money also to put in place a kindergarten assessment system,” said Deal. “We think it is important for us to know where a child is before they enter our kindergarten system and an assessment of this type will be very valuable to us.”
The state already uses ongoing evaluations for kindergarteners throughout the school year, but state leaders say the new benchmark test will help teachers cater to individual students’ needs from day one.