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Education secretary Duncan to governors: Join the early education parade



Sarah Henderson (L) and children from Mrs. Morrow's kindergarten class at Sunderland Elementary school recite the Pledge of Allegiance September 17, 2002 in Sunderland, Maryland. At the 2014 National Governors Association meetings, Maryland was held up as an example of a state where early education is working well, preparing children for the rigors of kindergarten.
Sarah Henderson (L) and children from Mrs. Morrow's kindergarten class at Sunderland Elementary school recite the Pledge of Allegiance September 17, 2002 in Sunderland, Maryland. At the 2014 National Governors Association meetings, Maryland was held up as an example of a state where early education is working well, preparing children for the rigors of kindergarten.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Education Secretary Arne Duncan told governors this week that expanding early education programs is underway — and they should join in.

"This is a parade I think you all want to be in front of, not behind," he told the National Governors Association on Sunday, during the group's winter meeting in Washington.

Governors peppered Duncan with questions regarding funding and access for early education for their states.

RELATED: Early education to get boost in federal budget deal

In January's budget bill, Congress allotted $250 million for the early education portion of Race to the Top. California was awarded early education Race to the Top funds in December 2011.

State education officials from Alabama and Maryland shared details of their early education programs. Despite its growing preschool movement, Alabama's Commissioner of Children's Affairs, Jeanne Ross, told a panel on early education that her preschool centers still have long wait-lists.

"There will be some classes that will actually have 60 children on a wait-list to get in," she said.

You can watch C'SPAN's recording of the early education panel at the NGA meeting here.