Maybe it’s a tempest in a teapot, but Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam told the Associated Press last week he’s hot and bothered by his opponent’s charge he’s soft on pre-K. In an earlier interview with AP, Democratic candidate Mike McWherter called Haslam’s commitment to pre-K tepid and noted Tennessee’s Republican legislators have been suspicious of the program since its expansion began in 2005.
“I’ve said all along that I think pre-K, where it is, should remain in place,” Haslam told the AP. “And when we have the money available we should look at expanding it.” Since 2005, Tennessee’s state pre-K program has expanded substantially, from 148 classrooms to more than 900, serving about 18,000 children.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.