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Jul 12, 2017 7:34 AM

Gov. Sununu to sign full-day kindergarten bill

The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Gov. Chris Sununu is heading to an elementary school to sign a bill that achieves one of his top priorities: state funding for full-day kindergarten.

Sununu, a Republican, initially proposed a $9 million-per-year, need-based grant system that would've funded programs for districts with a lot of low-income families but wouldn't have covered the full costs elsewhere. Lawmakers instead approved partial funding and the use of the keno lottery game to pay for it.

“The investments made today will give New Hampshire’s children a strong foundation for tomorrow’s future. I am proud to be the first governor to deliver a real full-day kindergarten program for communities across our state, which will close the opportunity gap and provide students, regardless of their economic status, an extra step up as they enter the first grade. Full-day kindergarten is good for children and families, and a critical tool in retaining our future workforce,” Sununu said.

The state currently pays half its standard per-student amount for kindergarten pupils, or about $1,800. Under the new law, the state will provide an additional $1,100 per full-day kindergarten student starting in 2019 and more in later years if keno revenues exceed expectations.

Sununu is signing the bill Wednesday at Penacook Elementary School.

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