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Posted: Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 11:17 AM HST

$4.5M requested for pre-K at Hawaii public schools

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) A top priority for the governor is a $4.5 million funding request for 32 preschool classrooms at public schools in underserved or rural Hawaii communities.

Executive Office on Early Learning Director GG Weisenfeld answered questions yesterday about the request at an informational briefing of the state House Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

Weisenfeld says 640 students from families who meet income and geography restrictions would attend for free. The students must be late-born 4-year-olds who will be affected when the state changes the age a child can enter kindergarten.

Waianae Rep. Jo Jordan says she's concerned the schools in her community don't have enough space.

The office is also requesting $2.5 million to increase subsidies for the Preschool Open Doors program.

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