Attempt To Boost Arkansas Pre-K Funding Fails

Apr 27, 2016

One Capitol Mall has houses the Joint Budget Committee.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas lawmakers have rejected an attempt to increase funding for the state's pre-kindergarten program, one of several initiatives that Democrats are looking to boost money for as the state's budget is finalized.

The Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday rejected by a 13-22, party-line vote a proposal to increase the funding for the Arkansas Better Chance program from $111 million to $121 million in the coming year.  Supporters of the proposal highlighted the benefits of the pre-k program and noted that it hasn't had a funding increase in several years.

The proposal is among several funding changes lawmakers are considering as legislative leaders hope to wrap up this year's session by late next week. The panel is also considering a proposal to tap $1 million in surplus money for state libraries.