Supporters Rallying For Maine Universal Pre-k Bill 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine business leaders, members of law enforcement and educators are urging lawmakers to support a bill to expand pre-kindergarten programs in the state.

Democrats say supporters will hold a press conference before the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee takes up the bill on Thursday.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Sen. Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic would expand pre-kindergarten programs to all of Maine’s roughly 160 school districts. Currently more than 60 percent of districts have pre-kindergarten programs.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration says the $1 million price tag on the bill would only be enough to support about eight new programs, putting dozens of schools on the hook to pay for them.