S. 322 – Ready to Learn Act

Sponsor: Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

Purpose/Summary: Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to authorize the Secretary of Education to award competitive matching grants to states and, through them, subgrants to schools, child care entities, Head Start programs, or other community-based prekindergarten providers for high-quality full day voluntary prekindergarten programs that prepare four-year olds for school.

Requires that such programs: (1) first serve children whose family income is no higher than 200% of the poverty level or who are limited English proficient; (2) ensure that, within two years of grant receipt, each classroom is taught by a teacher who has at least a baccalaureate degree in early childhood education or such a degree and specialized training in early childhood development; (3) use curricula that are aligned with state early learning standards; and (4) have teacher-child ratios of no more than 1 to 10 and group sizes of no more than 20.

Status:  02/13/2013 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

AFSA Position: AFSA supports this bill