By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania is one of six winning states from among 16 that competed for millions of dollars in federal early-education grants.

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This time, early education was the focus of the annual competition for federal “Race to the Top” grants, and this time Pennsylvania has won a grant of more than $51 million.

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Carolyn Dumaresq, Pennsylvania’s acting secretary of education, says one thing the money will be used for is to create 50 “Local Early Childhood Education Innovation Zones” to serve the lowest performing elementary schools in the state “and driving those dollars into there, to work with private community groups that support children, and public groups that support children, linking in those community groups with the preschool teachers and then the traditional public schools so that we all work better together.”

Grant money will also be used to enable 3,000 pre-kindergarten to third-grade teachers to experience and share strategies and best practices.

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