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Legislature OKs $4.3M to shore up districts' preschool funds

The Michigan Legislature is adding $4.3 million to the new state budget to ensure school districts receive the same amount of funding for preschool slots as this year.

Half-day slots for the Great Start Readiness Program are allocated to intermediate districts based on the portion of elementary students eligible for free lunch.

Districts with rising poverty increased their slots in budget taking effect this week, leaving nearly 1,200 fewer slots for a dozen other districts.

The Senate voted 31-4 Tuesday to spend $4.3 million to boost funding for those dozen districts.

The bill will go to Gov. Rick Snyder for his expected signature once the House concurs Tuesday.

Intermediate districts helped by the legislation are Gratiot-Isabella, Bay-Arenac, Easter Upper Peninsula, Shiawassee, Huron, Menominee, Charlevoix-Emmett, Marquette-Alger, Midland, Washtenaw, Ottawa and Clinton.

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