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From the “It could happen, but it won’t” department

I suppose it could be the case that Texas could get federal pre-K funds, but nobody really expects that to happen, right?

Texas could get an estimated $308 million in grants to fund one year of early childhood education if the state participates in President Barack Obama’s proposal to expand access to high-quality pre-kindergarten, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Preschool for All plan would require a one-tenth match by state pre-K funding to teach Texas’ neediest 4-year-olds, expand early Head Start programs and increase parent and family support programs that include home visits.

Gov. Rick Perry, who has declined to compete for federal grant programs in the past, is unlikely to jump on the offer.

The governor was still reviewing the proposal, a Perry spokesman said by email, noting that Texas is “a national leader in providing access to high-quality pre-K programs that ensure students are school ready.”

“Gov. Perry continues to believe that Texas knows best how to educate our children, and we will not sacrifice our standards or local control for one-size-fits-all federal mandates,” the spokesman, Josh Havens, said.

But don’t worry, he’ll judge it on its merits before coming to the conclusion he’s already reached. A bunch of business leaders have sent a letter to President Obama in support of this effort, but my guess is that they’re not the kind of business leaders who give money to Rick Perry, or who have any influence over his thinking when they disagree with him. I’m sure the states that do get these grants will be happy to get whatever Texas turns away as well. See here for more about the business coalition that’s backing this.

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