Hawaii senators take up statewide preschool bill
HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Legislature is considering a plan for a statewide preschool program, one of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s priorities this session.
The Senate Committee on Education are meeting Thursday to hear the proposal.
Abercrombie says the initiative will help improve the economy and decrease crime in the long run.
But some question the constitutionality of a program that would allow the state to partner with private educational providers.
The Hawaii State Constitution prohibits public funding of private educational institutions.
The governor wants more than $30 million to help pay for the program over the next two years.
House Committee on Education Chair Roy Takumi says the program is meant to replace the pre-kindergarten program that will end in 2014 , immediately affecting more than 5,000 kids.