Gov. Tim Kaine has scaled back his plans for a universal pre-K program for all 4-year-olds in Virginia—an issue he campaigned on during his 2005 election bid.
His original plan would have cost an estimated $300 million in its first year. But the Democratic governor now is pushing for an expansion of the existing Virginia Preschool Initiative, which uses public and private providers to serve about 12,500 4-year-olds eligible for free lunch.
Gov. Kaine’s latest proposal would open the program to an additional 17,000 children who are eligible for reduced-price lunches. The program’s cost would rise to $125 million from $50 million. The governor proposes phasing in the program over the next five years by “reprioritizing the use of existing funds,” according to a press release from his office.