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Recent early education news and updates

In the News

Jeff Bezos is spending $2 billion to help the homeless and educate poor kids. Sounds good. Is it?


September 19, 2018
Valerie Strauss

Amazon founder and CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos announced last week that he and his wife, MacKenzie, plan to spend $2 billion of their fortune to help the homeless and to expand early-childhood education in low-income communities. The $2 billion investment will be the first from what the Bezoses are calling the Bezos Day One Fund….

NJ Governor Murphy Announces $20.6 Million in Preschool Expansion Aid to 31 School Districts


September 19, 2018

TRENTON– Governor Phil Murphy today announced the first round of new Preschool Education Expansion Aid (PEEA) of $20.6 million to 31 eligible districts, which will enhance and expand preschool education programs for more than 2,000 three and four-year-old children across the state. A critical part of creating a stronger and fairer New Jersey, this expansion…

California works to narrow education achievement gap


September 19, 2018
Ricardo Cano

Sweeping reforms to the way California funds its public schools appear to be lifting student achievement, but this state may need to do and spend much more, particularly on early childhood education, if Californians hope to keep up with the rest of the country in closing its “achievement gap.” That’s the takeaway from an extensive…

Mississippi school leader focuses on preschool, teacher help


September 18, 2018
Jeff Amy

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — State schools Superintendent Carey Wright focused her pitch to lawmakers Monday on more money for state-funded preschool and more ways to improve teaching and school leadership, barely glancing over the state’s underfunded school formula. Wright asked lawmakers to provide more money for public-private preschool networks, coaches to improve reading instruction, a…

Multifaceted reforms needed to reach California’s education goals, research project finds


September 17, 2018
John Fensterwald

Researchers on Monday released a massive collection of education studies timed to inform the next California governor’s and Legislature’s preK-12 agenda. Among the findings of Getting Down to Facts II: The big achievement gap for California’s low- and middle-income children relative to their peers in other states  starts in kindergarten,  indicating a need to significantly expand preschool and quality child…

Should preschool educators be licensed, unionized? Battle lines drawn


September 17, 2018
Christopher Magan

As Minnesota boosts funding for preschool programs, one of the state’s largest suburban school districts and its teachers union are sparring over whether all the educators working with young learners need to be licensed. In May, the South Washington County school district asked the state Bureau of Mediation Services to determine whether roughly 35 early-learning…

Montana plans to apply for new round of federal preschool grants


September 17, 2018
Matt Hoffman

Montana plans to apply for a new round of preschool development grants, the same program that helped create 750 high-quality preschool slots across the state. The 2018-2019 school year is the final year that funding from a four-year, $40 million grant will be used. While the cost of maintaining preschool programs is expected to be…

Bezos targets homeless families, under-served preschoolers with $2 billion fund, but details are few


September 14, 2018
Matt Day and Benjamin Romano

The world’s richest man announced a plan to donate about 1.2 percent of his current wealth to address family homelessness and early childhood education, drawing praise and raising questions about the mark Jeff Bezos intends to make and how a new and powerful funder will influence the recipients of his largesse. More than a year…

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Announces $2 Billion Philanthropic Fund for Preschools, Homeless Families


September 13, 2018
Michele Molnar

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, now considered to be the world’s richest man, took to Twitter Thursday to announce that he and his wife Mackenzie are contributing $2 billion to launch new preschools in underserved communities and tackle the issue of homelessness in young families. The philanthropic efforts will come under the umbrella of the Bezos Day One Fund, the…

The Keys to Student Success Include Starting Early and Following Through


September 13, 2018
Christina Samuels

A  good start and a strong finish: State education leaders build a large part of their education policy around ensuring children are equipped for both as they move through the K-12 system and beyond. But how does that play out when 50 state education systems are stacked up against each other—and what kind of picture emerges…