Haslam keeping door open to pre-K as Senate speaker remains skeptical

photo Gov. BIll Haslam, left, leads a discussion in Nashville in this file photo.

NASHVILLE - While Gov. Bill Haslam is keeping the door open to an expansion of the public prekindergarten program in Tennessee, any such move would remain a tough sell among some fellow Republicans in the Legislature.

Haslam stressed that a federal notice that Tennessee intends to apply for a share of federal money available for pre-K expansion doesn't mean the state will necessarily follow through. The governor said this week he still is awaiting the results of a multiyear Vanderbilt study on the effectiveness of the program before making up his mind.

"We're still waiting on the study from Vanderbilt University, but we thought it was worth it to put the application in," Haslam said earlier this week.