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Senate Approves High Quality Preschool Pilot Program

Brian Grimmett
File: Senators debate bills on the Senate Floor

In an effort to help fight intergenerational poverty the Utah Senate passed a bill to provide grants to schools to create or expand preschool programs that serve at-risk children.

SB42 would create a High Quality Preschool Pilot Program that would be able to award grants to schools in order to create or expand preschool programs. The programs would have to serve children that are affected by intergenerational poverty. Republican Senator Aaron Osmond is the bill’s sponsor. He says the program is a step forward.

“We know that these kids, when they’re provided these programs, it does in fact impact their achievement gap. And they have a very real one," he says. "They’re far behind from a vocabulary and numeracy perspective but with these programs they can solve that and then mainstream with their peers.”

Osmond says there are about 12,000 students who could benefit from this program. His bill asks for $3 million in funding, which is only enough to provide classes for about 2500 of them. The bill now heads to the House for consideration. 

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