About 50 supporters told a legislative panel that Gov. Steve Bullock's $37 million plan for public preschool is a worthy investment.

Educators and parents told members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education Friday that providing preschool for all Montana 4-year-olds would better prepare them for kindergarten and for life.

Under the program dubbed Early Edge, grants would be available to public school districts to create or expand preschool programs. Bullock has included the initiative in his budget proposal.

In more than two hours of testimony, only one woman from a private preschool voiced concerns that she might not be able to continue offering the program in light of proposed accreditation standards.

Bullock attended an Early Edge rally outside the Capitol after the committee meeting.