State pushing preschool program

(April 23, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- Education officials say 40 million dollars appropriated to expand preschool programs should allow the state to serve seven-thousand additional children this fall. Now they want to make sure that parents of three-and-four-year-olds know about the new programs. Legislators appropriated the money to beef up preschool education during a special session on education reforms this year. Janie Huddleston, director of the Child Care Division of the Department, says spots in the new preschool programs will be allotted based on poverty and other needs. The state plans to assign the highest priority to preschool programs in school districts with the highest poverty rates and the worst test scores.