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Preschool Debate Heats Up In Iowa Legislature

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Expanding access to publicly funded preschool in Iowa is a top priority for Democrats in the legislature this year, but it's not clear Republican Gov. Terry Branstad or Republican lawmakers are on board with the idea.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, says he has been working on legislation to expand the Iowa Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program, which was established in 2007 to fund preschool for 4-year-olds.

Quirmbach, a professor at Iowa State University, expressed concern that there are not always enough public preschool spots available, meaning some kids may end up on waiting lists.

Branstad says he'd prefer to focus resources on low-income families.