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Conn. lawmakers unveil $200M prekindergarten plan

HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers have announced a 10-year, $200 million expansion of statewide prekindergarten programs.

Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., House Speaker Brendan Sharkey and other legislative leaders unveiled the proposal today. Williams said offering pre-K programs will help close the achievement gap between affluent and poor districts, boost reading abilities and improve high school graduation rates.

Funding would be split between $100 million over 10 years in new bonding for capital spending for classroom renovation and $100 million over a decade from the Tobacco Trust Fund for operating costs.

Lawmakers say the proposal would provide prekindergarten opportunities for 50,000 children. Connecticut is home to 84,000 3- and 4-year-old children.

Teachers would be required to be certified and programs must be accredited within three years of receiving money.



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