School readiness bill passes in Legislature

State's existing Preschool Open Doors program expanding

 UPDATED 11:36 AM HST May 01, 2013
HONOLULU -

The Hawaii Legislature has passed a bill to spend millions on a new school readiness program to prepare 4-year-old children for school.
    
The bill's passage is a victory for Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has been pushing heavily for the program.
    
The final bill sets aside $1.16 million in administrative costs and $6 million in subsidies to help 900 children.
    
It expands the state's existing Preschool Open Doors program in the Department of Human Services.
    
Abercrombie originally sought more than twice what was set aside to help thousands of kids who will lose services when the state's junior kindergarten program expires.
    
The Legislature also passed a bill Tuesday proposing a constitutional amendment to allow the state to fund a full-fledged preschool program.

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