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Arizona Gets $20 Million To Expand Preschool

Arizona is getting $20 million from the federal government to help make preschool available to more children.

Currently, only 3 percent of eligible students in the state attend preschool, but this federal money is intended to grow that number.

The grants can be used in 15 zip codes in Phoenix and Tucson, as well as smaller communities such as Somerton and Willcox. Preschool programs within those areas will be able to apply for the money to help them accommodate more children.

Arizona Department of Education spokesman Charles Tack said public, private and faith-based preschools will be able to apply.

"Any preschool program that is high-quality and that meets the standards that we are looking for them to meet will be eligible for that funding," he said. "The idea is to get these children access to those programs, one way or the other."

Arizona is one of 18 states receiving federal funds to expand or create preschool programs.

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.