MinnCAN: The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now released the following statement in response to the announcement that Minnesota was one of nine states to win the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge:
“This victory validates everything Minnesota did this year to make sure all of our children start their education off right,” said Vallay Varro, executive director of MinnCAN. “In 2011, the business community and broader civic community were instrumental in helping Minnesota enact these key early childhood reforms, including $4 million in scholarships for low-income families tied to a preschool rating system. We are ecstatic for our next-generation learners who will benefit from an excellent educational foundation.”
In Minnesota’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge application, Governor Dayton and his leadership team exercised a commitment to accountable, efficient and aligned state systems. This includes improved governance and data systems, evidence-based activities that expand Minnesota’s pre-K rating system Parent Aware and scholarships, and investments in human capital to provide early childhood educators with professional development opportunities.
Minnesota is receiving $45 million in Race to Top funding, making it the largest investment in early learning education in Minnesota in recent years.
In preparation for Minnesota’s submission, the Minnesota Department of Education called upon MinnCAN to convene support for inclusion in the proposal. MinnCAN engaged community leaders to express their shared commitment to early childhood education in a video and community letter of support.