Democratic and some Republican advocates for state-supported preschool intensified their push for a $1.4 million, five-school pilot program they hope will eventually open the door in Idaho to broader pre-kindergarten education.
At a press conference Monday, Boise Rep. Hy Kloc, a Democrat, was joined by Republican Rep. Douglas Hancey of Rexburg and Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney in promoting the proposal.
Enlisting GOP supporters, typically leery of such "pre-K" programs on concern parents, not the government, should be raising kids, will be critical to the success of Kloc's bill.
Idaho's Legislature is 81 percent Republican.
About half the money would come from private sources, the other half from government.
Raney says boosting pre-kindergarten education will pay off for Idaho, since people who succeed in school commit fewer crimes, he said.