UPDATE: U.S. Education Secretary Visits Kentucky

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UPDATE: 6/20/13 11:39 AM CDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan visited an early childhood education center in Kentucky to promote President Barack Obama's $75 billion proposal to expand access for pre-kindergarten learning.

Duncan says reaching children early with quality instruction is crucial to the nation's economic competitiveness with the rest of the world. Duncan met with state and local leaders at a western Louisville center where 90 percent of the students receive tuition assistance.

Duncan says Obama's plan would provide high-quality education for all 4-year-olds ahead of kindergarten. The White House says Kentucky would receive about $41 million in the first year under the president's plan.

Later on Thursday, Duncan will tour a children's center in Middletown, Ohio, and join an evening town hall in Cincinnati on bullying prevention.

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — The U.S. secretary of education is traveling to Kentucky and Ohio to promote President Barack Obama's proposal for a major expansion of early childhood education.

Secretary Arne (AR'-nee) Duncan's Thursday visit to the region includes a morning discussion at an early childhood education center in Louisville, Ky., and an anti-bullying forum in Cincinnati in the evening.

Duncan also plans to tour a children's center in Middletown, Ohio, and take part in an afternoon forum with Ohio education leaders on expanding children's early learning opportunities. Obama has proposed working with states to provide programs for all 4-year-olds and eventually all 3-year-olds.

In Cincinnati, Duncan will join the National PTA's evening town hall on bullying prevention.

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