GOP balks at $75M wish to expand preschool

Published 10:05 am Friday, January 27, 2017

ST. PAUL — Republican legislators aren’t eager to expand the state’s preschool program a year after it launched.

Gov. Mark Dayton is asking for $75 million in his budget proposal to expand his prized early education program.

More than 100 school districts that requested startup funds didn’t get them as the Legislature put up $25 million in the first year.

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But GOP lawmakers who control the Legislature say they want more evidence of the program’s success before agreeing to a spending increase.

Rep. Jenifer Loon, of Eden Prairie, and fellow Republicans favor a scholarship system they say allows parents to choose a school that best suits their families. Loon says she thinks Dayton’s administration could better allocate the funds they already have to reach more schools.