Tennessee Department of Education gives funding to Pre-K programs to serve at-risk youth

NASHVILLE (WATE) – The Tennessee Department of Education announced that 18,340 students will benefit from the Voluntary Pre-K program during the 2017-2018 school year.

Around 95 percent of Tennessee school districts will receive funding to help 4-year-olds who are at-risk. Funding will help develop school readiness skills in each student.

“High-quality early learning opportunities are one of the best investments we can make in our kids,” Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “We want to ensure we are supporting strong early learning opportunities for our students with the greatest need, and that is reflected in the updated application process and in these grantees.”

The agency released the preliminary award amounts for districts that will receive funding. Knox County will receive $2,014,202.97 and Anderson County will receive $631,133.

Click here for full list of preliminary award amounts

When providing funds, the state looks at several factors:

  • full enrollment in programs serving the highest-need students
  • use of a quality curriculum
  • a daily schedule that maximizes instructional time, minimizes transitions and contributes to children’s healthy growth and development
  • use of student outcome data
  • frequent classroom observations with job-embedded support for pre-K teachers
  • family outreach to maximize enrollment and support at-home learning

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