Minnesota education officials have submitted the state's application for a competitive federal grant called "Race to the Top."
The Obama administration has used Race to the Top to reward states that enact education reforms. This third round of $700 million is focused on states with the best plans for early childhood education. Minnesota is asking for $45 million.
More than $20 million would be used in four high-poverty areas — in St. Paul's Promise Neighborhood, Minneapolis's Northside Achievement Zone, the White Earth Reservation and Itasca County.
The rest would fund the infrastructure for pre-kindegarten oversight.
"One of the things in early childhood is we really don't have a system; we've got a lot of fragmented pieces," said Barb Yates, who chairs a governor's task force on early childhood and helped coordinate Minnesota's application. "This gives us some resources to pull that together."
The winning states will be named by year's end.