Fourteen States have not yet declared their intent to apply for the Early Learning Challenge, a $500 million Federal grant program, according to The Washington Times. The program is part of the Barack Obama Administration’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTTT) and focuses on improvements for preschool education, according to the newspaper.
The program aims to reward States that work to improve prekindergarten programs. “This Challenge represents the Obama Administration’s commitment to helping vulnerable children and families reach their full potential,” U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said of the plan in a release.
It appears that some States believe that the program is not worth the hassle of mandates tied to Federal grants, according to The Washington Times. Although some State representatives are still considering applying, Texas will most likely be one of the States to pass on the Early Learning Challenge, as it has yet to participate in any RTTT initiatives, reports the newspaper.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has been a strong opponent of the RTTT programs, criticizing the initiative as an attempt to increase Federal control over education, according to the media outlet. “The education of our children is far too important to entrust to some Federal bureaucrat toiling in a distant Federal building,” Perry said, according to his website.