- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri education officials say they are seeking more than $17 million annually of federal grant funding for early childhood education efforts.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says the grant could expand preschool programs for 4-year-olds in what it describes as “high-need communities.”

Missouri will find out in December whether it will get the grant, which could be renewed for up to four years.

The state agency says Missouri has been falling behind in early childhood education funding. It cites a study by the National Institute for Early Education Research which ranks Missouri’s funding 38th out of 41 states that have preschool programs.

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