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Politics

Maine looks to fix its high preschool expulsion rate

Preschool Child Care Costs
Elaine Thompson
/
AP file
In this photo taken Feb. 12, 2016, Daniel O'Donnell, left, looks on as William Hayden sends large blocks flying at the Creative Kids Learning Center, a school that focuses on pre-kindergarten for 4- and 5-year-olds, in Seattle.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Maine Legislature is looking to cut down on suspensions and expulsions of students during early childhood. Maine has the second-highest rate of preschool student expulsion in the country.

The Legislature is considering a bill that would expand a pilot program that's already in use in half the state’s counties. The program makes mental health and child development consultants available to teachers, child care providers and parents. A bill before the Legislature would take it statewide. Both houses of the Legislature have approved the proposal and it faces further votes before enactment.