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Posted: Feb 4, 2014 6:00 AM

Updated: Feb 4, 2014 6:01 AM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) Funding for preschool programs is rising in numerous Republican-led states at a rate often equaling or exceeding that of Democratic dominated capitols. This year's three largest increases in preschool funding occurred in Republican states, including a hike of nearly $48 million in Texas. The surge in state preschool spending comes even as congressional Republicans have blocked a quest by President Barack Obama to pour tens of billions of dollars into preschool programs.

ST. LOUIS (AP) A new report released Tuesday shows that a nationwide push by prosecutors to re-examine possible wrongful convictions contributed to a record number of exonerations in 2013. The National Registry of Exonerations says that 87 people falsely convicted of crimes were exonerated last year. Texas topped the state-by-state breakdown with 13 exonerations in 2013, followed by Illinois, New York, Washington and California.

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) The superintendent of one of Georgia's largest school systems is stepping down and moving back to Texas after May 31. Cobb County Schools Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's retirement announcement comes after he apologized for the district's response to last week's winter storm. Hinojosa says the timing had nothing to do with that criticism, instead citing his family as a main reason for his decision. He said he plans to return to his home in Dallas.

LONDON (AP) BP says its fourth-quarter profits fell by nearly a third as the company felt the impact of asset sales following the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. Net income dropped 30 percent to $1.04 billion from $1.49 billion in the same quarter the year before. The company says Tuesday that a number of factors were behind the decline including lower refining markets and costs related to new projects and investments.

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