Tennessee not applying for pre-k federal funds

(AP) - Tennessee education officials say they will not apply for up to $60 million in federal funds for early childhood education because the requirements don't meet the state's needs.

Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman told The Commercial Appeal that it's hard to understand why the state wouldn't want to get more money from the Race to the Top education grant program that already gave Tennessee $500 million to reform schools.

The main reason not to apply, Huffman said, is that the money can't be used to expand existing pre-kindergarten services. He said they have to be careful not to take on activities the state can't sustain financially.

But advocates from Memphis and other places are urging state leaders to invest in early childhood education.

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