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Senate Approves Preschool Expansion Plan

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A plan to enroll more 4-year-olds in preschool and incentivize the creation or expansion of programs has won the Iowa Senate's approval.

The Senate voted 28-22 Monday in favor of the measure, which now goes to the House for further consideration. All those opposed were Republicans.

The Iowa Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program, established in 2007, already funds preschool for 4-year-olds. The legislation would offer additional funds to school districts with existing programs or those that initiate new programs, in an effort to expand preschool enrollment. These incentives would be offered for three years beginning in 2015, and would be based on increased enrollment.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, an Ames Democrat, says the legislation is meant to increase participation in the preschool program and improve outreach efforts to Iowa children.