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Pence pushes preschool funding amid cost concerns

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 5:20 pm

INDIANAPOLIS — A plan to use state funds to pay for children of low-income families to attend preschool is drawing questions from Indiana lawmakers concerned about the project's cost.

Gov. Mike Pence urged lawmakers to pass the bill during a Senate Education Committee hearing Wednesday.

The bill would provide vouchers for children of low-income families in five pilot counties to attend public, private or religious preschools that meet certain education standards.

Critics question the feasibility of the estimated $7.5 million to $30 million price tag for the program. Questions over the effectiveness of early childhood education also are causing debate.

A committee vote on the bill is expected next week. The full Senate's support is needed before the legislation can head to Pence's desk for his signature.