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Submitted by WWAY on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 9:13am.

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Gov. Bev Perdue says she's shifting money to enroll another 2,000 at-risk 4-year-olds in a state program that helps them catch up to their peers before entering kindergarten. Perdue's office said Wednesday it has identified $9 million from child care subsidy funds to pay for an extra 2,000 slots in the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten program. A state judge overseeing North Carolina's long-running school funding lawsuit ruled in July that no eligible child can be turned away from the free preschool education. The budget designed by the Republican-led Legislature required most families who qualified for the program to make a co-payment to participate. GOP lawmakers have resisted putting more money into the program for the estimated 67,000 eligible children. The service is now available to nearly 25,000 children. (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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