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GOP Plan To Take Early Childhood Funds Opposed By Board

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The board overseeing Arizona's early childhood development program is opposing a plan from Republican legislative leaders to take some of its funding to support K-12 education.

The First Things First board announced its formal opposition to Senate President Andy Biggs and House Speaker David Gowan's plan on Wednesday.

Biggs and Gowan want voters to approve taking $200 million the program has in the bank next year and $75 million each year going forward to fund schools.

Board chair Janice Decker says that would eliminate what voters achieved when they approved the tobacco tax and spending plan in 2006.

The group uses money from a voter-approved tobacco tax to fund early childhood education and health programs.

Voters rejected a legislative proposal to take the money by a wide margin in 2010.

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