The final guidelines for the competition are not yet out, and the comment period is still underway, but that hasn't stopped the federal government from asking governors to signal next week whether their states plan to compete in the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge. In a letter sent to all governors today, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are asking for an email message by July 15th notifying the departments of a state's intent to apply.
"As we prepare for this competition, the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if we have a better understanding of the number of applications we are likely to receive," the letter says.
There's no requirement that governors send such a note -- they may still apply even without giving the feds a heads up, the letter says. They may also change their minds and decide to forgo the application process despite signaling on July 15th that they plan to do so. But the fed's push may give stakeholders a strong hint of whether their leaders see their states as strong contenders.
Don't miss our special page with continuing news coverage and commentary on the Early Learning Challenge grant program.