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House OKs Bill Funding Full-Day Kindergarten with Keno

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The House overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday to fund full-day kindergarten in the state. The final vote was 231 to 100.

Under the measure, $1100 per pupil would be sent to school districts for the full-day kindergarten programs. But those dollars would come from the electronic bingo game – Keno – which is currently illegal in New Hampshire.

Republican Rep Kevin Verville of Deerfield told his colleagues on the House floor Thursday that this revenue stream wouldn’t cover the full costs. “The New Hampshire Department of Education testified in the House Finance Committee that the potential full cost of funding full-day kindergarten could be as high as 29 million dollars,” he said.

The bill now heads to the Senate, which has historically rejected Keno. Whether it will change course for the kindergarten bill is not clear.

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