State Democrats Seek More Funding for Preschool

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Senate Democrats want to boost state preschool spending, with a goal of making publicly-funded preschool available to all 4-year-olds whose parents want them enrolled.

A bill that would provide more funding to school districts that expand or establish preschool programs for 4-year-olds was reviewed in a Senate subcommittee Thursday and has the support to move on to the Senate Education Committee for review.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, says the additional funding would be offered for three years, starting in the fall of 2015. He says the effort could cost as much as $15 million.

While this plan has support in the Democrat-majority Senate, it is not clear if the bill could win backing from Republicans controlling the Iowa House.

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