By GARY D. ROBERTSON
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A North Carolina legislative committee has scaled back recommendations for changing the state's prekindergarten program, but not before the debate shifted to the scope of poverty in the state.
The House panel examining early childhood education voted Thursday for recommendations that in part call upon the General Assembly to establish criteria to help 4-year-olds with the greatest need. A draft report last week suggested that children living at or below the poverty level should get the most help.
Committee member Rep. George Cleveland of Onslow County riled up activists for education and children's issues when he said no one in North Carolina lives in "extreme poverty" when compared to some in developing countries. Cleveland suggested the label in the US is just a governmental definition.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)