US Ed chief headed to Minn. for preschool pitch

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota is getting a visit from the nation’s education chief as he makes a pitch for expanded government spending on early childhood learning programs.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan plans multiple events in Minnesota on Tuesday. His office said Friday that he would tour a preschool in Minneapolis and hold a town hall forum there. Later, he was planning remarks at a national gathering of teachers, with a focus on readiness standards.

Duncan’s concentration on early education dovetails with President Barack Obama’s proposal to boost federal spending on those learning programs. Under the proposal, Minnesota would see a $39 million allowance. That would combine with new state dollars earmarked for preschool initiatives.

Gov. Mark Dayton planned to join Duncan for part of his visit.

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