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Preschool Voucher Bill Passes House

The Indiana House has overwhelmingly approved an expansion of the state's voucher program to help low-income families send their children to preschool.

The bill calls for a pilot preschool program in five counties, and broadens eligibility for state help from the poverty line to nearly double that -- the same level as the free-and-reduced school lunch program.

House Education Chairman Robert Behning says it's low-income students who need the help most.

He says a United Way study found that by the time children from middle-class families start first grade, they've had someone spend 40 times as much time reading to them as children from poor families.