COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program has awarded the South Carolina Department of Education a $3.3 million federal grant to incorporate early childhood education programs into the state’s existing system.
The four-year grant is part of a national initiative to help states and educators find out what works best for students and facilitate research to increase student achievement while limiting achievement gaps.
“Better data means better outcomes,” said Georgia Mjartan, executive director of South Carolina First Steps. “Participating in our state’s longitudinal data system will help us connect public investments in early childhood with outcomes in college and career. There’s no better way of evaluating our long-term impact and tailoring our strategies to ensure all children are getting what they need to reach their highest potential.”
The South Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council will lead the development and oversight of data sharing across agencies. South Carolina First Steps will staff a project coordinator for the length of the grant.
The grant will be coordinated in partnership with South Carolina First Steps, the Office of Revenue and Fiscal Affairs, the Department of Social Services, and Head Start programs around the state.
Officials said South Carolina was one of 28 applicants who were awarded a grant. In total, the grant program awarded $105 million to applicants around the country.