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Missouri education officials to pursue federal grant

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | 8:04 a.m. CDT; updated 9:13 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 21, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's State Board of Education has opted to seek a federal grant for early childhood education.

The board's decision Thursday clears the way for the state to pursue a grant proposal that could be worth up to $60 million. To get the money, Missouri must develop a plan to better coordinate its early childhood education system, with an emphasis on serving children from lower-income and disadvantaged families

That plan could include a rating system for childcare providers. Legislation creating a five-star rating system for child care centers passed the state Senate in 2007 and 2008, but failed both times to win final legislative approval. Last week, some senators spoke out against establishing a rating system and urged the state education department not to seek the grant.

 

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