- Associated Press - Thursday, December 11, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Department of Education is receiving $14.8 million to expand public preschool access in 10 counties.

The department will pass 95 percent of the funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to 13 school districts with high percentages of low-income students to establish or expand preschool programs.

All told, more than 30 new classrooms will be created with the funding and most will open in September, adding to Maine’s existing 205 classrooms serving 4-year-old students. Another 23 classrooms already in operation will be expanded so students can attend five days a week for the full day.

Participating school districts have more than 50 percent of students at the elementary level who qualify for free or reduced priced lunch.

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