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Gubernatorial Contenders Offer Different Early Education Prescriptions

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Arguments over the effectiveness of pre-K education programs in the state could be front and center in a state House K-12 budget subcommittee next year.

But Lexington Democratic Rep. Kelly Flood tells cn|2 Pure Politics the direction the state takes on early childhood education could largely depend on who wins the governor’s race in November.

"I think it's a critical moment for us," she says. "Anybody who's paying attention to the governor's race right now will know that the Conway campaign is clear that K-12 education, especially pre-K, is the place to be investing our dollars and I know that that is in direct opposition to, at this point, an argument that the other camp would make."

While supporters argue pre-K education programs such as Head Start can help close stubborn achievement gaps throughout the state, opponents of increased funding cite studies showing minimal gains past the third grade.

The state General Assembly will begin hashing out its next biennial budget in about six months.