Funding the Missing Link For Hawaii's Public Preschool Program

Alia Wong/Civil Beat

There's an office, a director and a mission but not a lot of funding.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie wants to change that.

After listening to a group of chubby-cheeked preschoolers sing to him, the governor on Wednesday unveiled his plan to provide a publicly funded early learning program for all of Hawaii's 4-year-olds.

He's already set aside $32.5 million for the program in his two-year budget, which awaits approval by the state Legislature. About $3.5 million would be dedicated to planning and developing the program over the course of this year. The rest of the money would go toward implementing the first phase of the program, which he hopes will be up and running by the 2014-2015 school year.

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