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Universal Preschool a Hot Issue in Some State Elections

Dan Malloy, a Democratic candidate for governor of Connecticut, said he wants universal access to prekindergarten in the state within four years, the Associated Press reports.

Malloy said he would like to develop a state version of the Stamford School Readiness Program that he created as mayor of that city. In the Stamford program, families pay on a sliding scale, depending on their income level. There were no specific plans on how such a state program would be financed.

"I want to be measured by the success of making early-childhood education available to all the children in the state of Connecticut who could not otherwise afford it," AP quotes him as saying at a press conference. "It's something I know, it's something I know makes a difference, it's something I know how to do, it's actually something I've done."

Malloy faces Democrat Ned Lamont in a primary on Aug. 10. Lamont did not respond to the AP's request seeking comment on his opponent's plan.

Meanwhile, Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat who is seeking re-election, has vowed to expand public preschool programs to every school district, while the Republican nominee for governor, Terry Branstad, is against such a plan, according to the Des Moines Register.

The Texas Republican party recently adopted a platform in favor of repealing government early-childhood-education programs.

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