Democrat in governor's race backs preschool access

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald says he'll work to guarantee that all Ohio 4-year-olds have access to public preschool by 2018 if he's elected governor.

FitzGerald announced his universal pre-kindergarten plan Wednesday in Westerville. It's the first major policy initiative of his campaign against Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik).

FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County executive in Cleveland, faces Kasich this fall in one of the nation's most closely watched gubernatorial races.

Under FitzGerald's plan, universal preschool would be phased in over two years beginning in fall 2016. He would support legislation to increase qualifications for preschool teachers and reduce maximum preschool class sizes from 28 to 20.

Republicans say FitzGerald's policy ideas add up to about $2 billion so far and that he hasn't addressed where he would get the money.

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