BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Idaho is among states eyeing a $500 million
federal grant competition to improve preschool education programs.
But how exactly the money could be spent in Idaho, which does
not fund a statewide pre-K program, remains uncertain as officials
wait for the U.S. Department of Education to release criteria for
the competition. Idaho officials have also been leery in the past
about any strings attached to accepting federal grant money.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the Early Learning
Challenge in May and the Idaho responded last month, saying the
state intended to apply.
At least three other states that don't fund pre-K programs _
Hawaii, Wyoming and Mississippi _ also plan to compete.
Education experts say those states could still use the grant
money to improve their systems of early learning.