Tennessee Democrats Want More Money for Pre-K

Nov 8, 2012

Tennessee House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner
Credit State of Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Democratic leaders say they plan to talk with Gov. Bill Haslam about expanding pre-kindergarten classes after the state's education commissioner said he doesn't plan to request funding for an expansion.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

Commissioner Kevin Huffman spoke earlier this week during the governor's budget hearings. Haslam has asked state departments to develop plans for a 5 percent cut in spending as a fallback.

The Commercial Appeal reports Huffman saying that expanding enrollment in schools and inflation alone will require an additional $2 million in routine cost increases.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner tells The Associated Press that pre-K is needed and that he plans to talk to the governor and consider legislation to expand it.

Tennessee's voluntary pre-K program has not been expanded since 2008.