MIAMI (CBS4) – Gov. Rick Scott is hoping to cash in on the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top early learning challenge.

The competitive grant could provide Florida with up to $100 million to improve school readiness among Florida’s youngest learners.

In order to apply, however, the Florida Legislature will need to sign off on accepting funds for a home visitation grant it previously rejected.

Studies have shown that children from disadvantaged backgrounds often enter school already behind their more affluent peers.

Advocates say early learning programs can help narrow the achievement gap.

Florida was awarded $700 million in the last round of the Race to the Top education reform competition.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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