Commissioner’s Update – December 11, 2014

From the Maine Department of Education

The Maine Department of Education has been awarded $14.8 million to expand public preschool opportunities in 10 counties.

Over the next four years, the Department will pass 95 percent of the funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to 13 school districts with high percentages of low-income students so they can establish or expand preschool programs in partnership with local early childhood program providers.

In total, 33 new classrooms will be created with the funding and most will open next September, adding to Maine’s existing 205 classrooms serving 4-year-old students. Another 23 classrooms already in operation will be expanded so students can attend five days a week for the full day. With up to 16 students per preschool classroom, the award can potentially allow access to early childhood education to more than 500 additional Maine children.

Participating districts include Lewiston, Millinocket, Sanford, Westbrook, SAD 58 (Phillips, Strong and Kingfield) and RSU 3 (Brooks, Liberty, Monroe and Unity), 12 (Chelsea and Somerville), 13 (Rockland), 37 (Addison, Harrington and Milbridge), 39 (Limestone), 49 (Albion and Clinton), 53 (Pittsfield) and 74 (Anson, North Anson and Solon).

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