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Tennessee Democrats Want More Money for Pre-K

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State of Tennessee
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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.

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.