Public Input Sought on Preschool Development Grants

In the FY14 omnibus bill $250 million has been allotted for Race to the Top state grants for improving early childhood care and education. The U.S. Department of Education is seeking public comment on these grants up until 5:00 PM EDT, Wednesday, February 26, 2014.

“The two departments [Education and HHS] are very interested in your input. We encourage all interested parties to submit opinions, ideas, suggestions and comments pertaining to the new competition below,” the DOE blog notes. After the public comment section closes, they “will begin considering comments received as we develop requirements, priorities, selection criteria, and definitions” for those schools competing for the grants.

This new competition is distinct from the Race to the Top – Early Learning challenge. This competition “will support President Obama’s call to provide high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families through a new competition to expand and enhance preschool programs across States and communities.”

This is a great opportunity to emphasize the necessity of music education in these preschool programs in order to ensure high-quality education during students’ formative years. See the links below for important points to make in your posts on the DOE public comment page, and please note posts “should be as specific as possible, and, as appropriate, supported by data and relevant research.”

Public Comment Sought for New Competition to Build, Develop and Expand High-Quality Preschool Programs,” Homeroom, the USDOE’s official blog.

See NAfME’s “Start the Music Strategies” and “Start the Music: A Report from the Early Childhood Summit” for more background information. Also see the Broader Minded website for more extrinsic and intrinsic benefits of music.

Lili M. Levinowitz, Ph.D., “The Importance of Music in Early Childhood,” General Music Today, Fall 1998.

Charles Anzalone, “Study Finds Link Between Music and Preschoolers Reading Readiness,” University of Buffalo, 23 January 2013.

Catherina Hurlburt, Special Assistant, February 24, 2014. © National Association for Music Education (