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Iowa Governor Offers Less Expensive Preschool Program

February 14, 2011, 10:37 AM

DES MOINES, IA - Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed replacing Iowa's preschool program with a scholarship plan that would offer help to most families.
Under Branstad's plan announced Monday, a family of four earning up to $67,000 could qualify. That family would pay $133 a month, but Branstad says families near the poverty line could pay as little as $3 monthly.

Branstad wants to replace the current $90 million a year program with a $43 million plan with scholarships of up to $3,000. Children would need to attend preschool at least 10 hours weekly.  Parents could choose a public, private or faith-based preschool provider under Branstad's plan.

Preschool is offered in most Iowa districts, but only about half of 4-year-olds are enrolled. Branstad says he wants to expand that by promoting his program.

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