Title 16: Education
Chapter 133: STATE FUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION
16 V.S.A. § 4014. Early education
§ 4014. Early education
(a) Grants. The commissioner may grant funds for voluntary early education programs. The funds may be used for personnel costs, training of parents and staff, materials and educational equipment, and other costs related to early education programs.
(b) The commissioner shall solicit proposals for early education programs from community organizations serving young children. Community organizations include school districts, other public agencies, including Head Start programs and private agencies, including child care programs and parent-child centers.
(c) The commissioner also shall investigate to determine those areas which are not served by early education programs and whose children are in greatest need of such services. In those areas the commissioner shall provide assistance in preparing proposals for grants. In conducting the investigation, the commissioner shall collect and analyze demographic factors which are likely to predict unusual community needs for early education services. The commissioner shall distribute the results of the analysis to all interested persons.
(d) The commissioner shall evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:
(1) The program will serve additional children with special needs, such as those who are economically disadvantaged, those who have limited English language skills, those with disabling conditions, or those who have suffered from or are at risk of, abuse or neglect.
(2) The program will rely on early screening of children's development to determine need.
(3) The program will provide experiential learning activities which are developmentally appropriate for three and four-year olds. Such activities may be provided in home or group settings or a combination of the two.
(4) The program will include active parental involvement in program design and in making decisions about services.
(5) The program has been cooperatively developed by community and school organizations that serve young children in a town or group of towns.
(6) There is a demonstrated need for the program.
(7) The program considers the transportation needs of children and parents.
(8) The program enables children with disabling conditions to be served in settings with peers who do not have a disability.
(9) The program includes voluntary training for parents.
(e) The commissioner shall give preference to programs to be offered in parts of the state which do not have early education services at the time of the application.
(f) Grant proposals shall be submitted to the commissioner. Grants shall be for one year but may be renewed. No grant may exceed $30,000.00. The commissioner may, in his or her discretion, set other terms of the grant. (Added 1987, No. 68, § 3; 2011, No. 58, § 6, eff. May 31, 2011.)