Race to the Top Funds will soon be headed to Georgia classrooms

The state of Georgia has been selected as a winner in the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge.

With the victory comes $50 million to help fund the state’s program.

According to a press release from Governor Nathan Deal, making sure Georgia students are performing on grade level is critical.

“Increasing the percentage of Georgia students reading on grade level by the completion of third grade has been a top priority of my administration,” said Deal. “With this strategic investment in our state’s work, we will be able to ensure that more of our youngest students are positioned to meet this critical benchmark and thus improve our long-term economic competitiveness.”

Georgia’s application for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant competition focused on early learning and in particular third grade reading levels.

Experts suggest that students not reading on grade level by the third grade are much less likely to succeed in school.

“Georgia’s leaders understand that it is easier and much more cost effective to ‘get it right’ at the beginning of the education continuum than to help students ‘catch up’ through remediation in the middle or at the end of their academic careers,” said Paul Bowers, President and CEO of Georgia Power Co, which submitted a letter in support of the grant. “Georgia’s win in the Early Learning Challenge is also a win for Georgia’s economic development and the thousands of businesses in our state looking for a qualified and effective workforce.”