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Grant will fund Pre-K programs

Eighteen of Maryland’s jurisdictions, Charles County among them, will benefit from a federal education grant designated to improve the recipients’ pre-kindergarten programs.

A total $15 million will be distributed from the U.S. Department of Education to all of Maryland’s schools systems but Calvert, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot and Worcester counties — it is unclear how much Charles County Public Schools will receive from the recent grant, announced earlier in December by U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and other federal lawmakers.

Stemming from the Education department’s Preschool Development Grants program, which means to assist states in expanding pre-K initiatives, particularly in low-income areas, the funding may also be used for state-level improvements to infrastructure.

Charles County Public Schools were closed for the holiday season and no local officials could be reached for comment.

“These funds in the federal checkbook will ensure that Maryland preschoolers are getting the very best care, to help support their development and prepare them for school,” said Mikulski in a news release. “This is a down payment on Maryland’s middle class families, on our children’s future and on our nation’s future.”

Maryland is one of 13 states to profit from the grant, according to the release, which also estimates the grant would serve 33,000 children nationwide in “regionally diverse communities” — urban neighborhoods and small town and tribal areas.

U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.-5th) in the release pointed to the Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Family Education Centers, a pre-K program named for his late wife, as a continued resource in the state.

“This funding will provide high-quality preschool services to ensure that our children have a good education and the opportunity to enter the classroom on a more level playing field,” Hoyer said in the release.

Charles is one of 18 systems in state to get money