Religious Hawaii schools lobby for preschool funds

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Associated Press

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 7:04 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie's proposed preschool program is facing pushback from religious institutions that take issue with the current version of the bill.

Faith-based groups testified before the House Finance Committee on Tuesday, saying a recent amendment to the bill gives secular institutions an unfair advantage.

The Hawaii Catholic Conference says parents should have a choice as to where to educate their children.

The Hawaii Baptist Early Education Association says faith-based institutions provide 50 percent of preschool education in Hawaii.

Both groups say they support a version of the bill that would allow funding for faith-based preschool.

But the Hawaii Family Advocates says there's no way to amend the bill to make it amenable to religious schools.

The group also said preschool isn't cost-effective use of state money.

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