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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.