By Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Gov. Gary Herbert has approved legislation to use private grants to help cover the cost of preschool programs for at-risk Utah students.

Herbert’s office announced Wednesday that he signed the measure, which attracted hundreds of emails from supporters and opponents during the recent legislative session.

The law creates a program where private companies foot the bill for classroom or at-home preschool programs.

If the programs keep those students from needing special education classes down the road, the state will repay the companies.

Conservative opponents of the law have argued the state should not use public money for private preschool programs, even if they come with a reimbursement.

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