A new entitlement? The right to preschool

AP News
Posted: Feb 03, 2014 5:57 PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some Republican governors and state lawmakers have been carving out an exception to their ideology of less spending and smaller government.

Funding for preschool programs is rising in numerous Republican-led states at a rate often equaling or exceeding that of Democratic dominated capitols. This year's three largest increases in preschool funding occurred in Republican states, including a $65 million hike in Michigan.

The surge in state preschool spending has reversed recessionary cuts. And it's come even as congressional Republicans have blocked a quest by President Barack Obama to pour tens of billions of dollars into preschool programs.

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State Republicans are putting their own twist on the preschool push. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has framed it as a "voucher" for lower-income parents. Other states are distributing the money as competitive grants.