Tucked away in an $87 billion higher-education bill that passed the House last week was a broad new federal initiative aimed not at benefiting college students, but at raising the quality of the early-learning programs that serve children from birth through age 5, reports the New York Times. The initiative, the Early Learning Challenge Fund, would channel $8 billion over eight years to states with plans to improve standards, training, and oversight of programs serving infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The Senate is expected to pass similar legislation this fall, giving President Obama, who proposed the Challenge Fund during the presidential...

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