DESE moves ahead with early childhood effort

State senators last week sent a letter and a resolution, telling Gov. Jay Nixon, Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro and the Missouri Board of Education to “cease and desist from taking any further action on” an effort to seek federal funding for early childhood education programs.

But Tuesday morning, the state board voted 6-1 to authorize the Elementary and Secondary Education department staff to continue working with other state agencies on the federal government’s “Race to the Top” grant program, which could win Missouri $60 million.

The newest board member, Michael Jones of St. Louis, also won approval of a plan to prepare a response to the Legislature, explaining the importance of improving early childhood education whether or not the state wins the federal grant.

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