Sen. Boucher joins Higher Ed. Leaders in endorsing ‘Race to the Top’ grant

October 14, 2011

Hartford, CT – Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) and leaders of Connecticut’s Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee are asking federal officials to endorse the state’s application for a federal “Race to the Top” grant.

“Connecticut’s RTT-ELC application represents an important step forward in early childhood education,” Sen. Boucher said. “Providing the highest level of education possible for children in their early years is vital. I join my colleagues in our commitment to establish the best possible framework for our young children. If they can develop the skills needed to achieve in a global society early, they will flourish as students and later in life.”

The letter Senator Boucher -ranking member on the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee and the co-chairs, Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) and Rep. Roberta Willis (D-64th District) wrote to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Department of Health and Human services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reads in part:

“Connecticut’s application accelerates momentum that has been building for several years toward the development of a coordinated, comprehensive system of care for Connecticut’s young children. We are confident that RTT-ELC activities will improve the quality and coordination of early care learning and development at the state, regional and local levels. As a result, Connecticut’s children will be better supported in their developmental needs in their critical early years, positioning them to attain academic success and gainful employment as adults.”

Sen. Bye said. “We have detailed and very relevant new legislation which dovetails perfectly with the requirements and goals of the Early Learning Challenge, and we have an administration that is focused and energetic in pursuing this funding.”

“I am pleased we are supporting this critical application in a bipartisan fashion for the funding that will help us to provide the programs that will enable our students to compete at every level,” Rep. Willis said.

In late May, Secretaries Duncan and Sebelius announced $500 million in federal “Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge” funds. This is a competitive grant that rewards states who create comprehensive plans to transform early learning systems. Awards range from $50 million to $100 each.

Sen. Boucher is Ranking member of Education, Higher Education, former State Board of Education member and previous Wilton Board of Education Chairman.