Analysis: Missouri Preschool Grants Run Past End Date

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 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ When it was launched in the late 1990s, a Missouri grant program for preschools was intended to last only a short time. The original guidelines for the Missouri Preschool Project even stated in bold print that grant applications would be funded for a three-year period. But more than a decade later, 45 of the public school districts that got preschool grants in that inaugural year still are receiving money from the state. Education officials say the program somehow morphed from a start-up grant into an ongoing source of money for preschools. That is about to change. The budget passed this year by lawmakers reduces the money available for the program and instructs education officials to develop rules, which are intended to again limit grants to three years.