BOISE, Idaho -

 A bill to launch a preschool pilot program in Idaho has won the support of the House Education Committee.

The pilot would provide half-day educational programs in five Idaho schools, with potential to expand if data shows it gets kids ready for kindergarten.

It carries a $1.4 million price tag for all three years, but Boise Democrat Rep. Hy Kloc stressed Monday less than half of that will come from the state's coffers.

The rest will likely come from grants.

 Despite Idaho ranking near-last in education funding, some lawmakers argued the expense was unnecessary, proposing the state get data from existing preschool programs.

Proponents say that's not good enough: They want uniform numbers to see if the pilot is worth expanding.

The bill now heads to a full committee vote.