Massachusetts education officials are hoping to receive up to $50 million in federal grants designed to help young children get a head start for school, especially in language skills.
Education Secretary Paul Reville said the state submitted its application Wednesday for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge, a $500 million national competition sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
Reville said the goal is to help make sure that all children, particularly high-needs children, have access to quality pre-kindergarten education that will put them on an early path to success.
The Massachusetts proposal would create English language development standards from birth to 5 years, promote healthy child development from preschool through grade 3 and develop a common tool for assessing children in kindergarten.
"In some instances we would be able to do some things that of course we wouldn't be able to do — support more programs, validate a system, provide more training, develop more standards — those things we wouldn't be able to do without these additional resources," said Early Education Commissioner Sherri Killins.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This program aired on October 19, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.