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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s education department has divvied up a $1.5 million federal grant aimed at improving early childhood education to eight parishes.

The department says the grant will help pay for teachers at low-performing early childhood education centers with training aimed at helping improve classroom instruction and kindergarten readiness.

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education backed the distribution of funds.

The parishes that will share in grant dollars are: Calcasieu, Concordia, Iberville, Jefferson, Orleans, Rapides, St. John the Baptist, and Tangipahoa parishes. Louisiana’s education department says the money will help more than 300 classrooms and 1,500 children.

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The Preschool Development Grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Education.