EducationEducation Policy / November 25, 2013

New Session, Same Question: Where’s The Money For Pre-K In Indiana?

Kyle Stokes - StateImpact Indiana
New Session, Same Question: Where’s The Money For Pre-K In Indiana?

Here’s one you’ve heard before: Lawmakers of both political parties at the statehouse are pushing to put state dollars behind an early childhood education program.

Yes, pre-K’s back — potentially in the form of legislation that’s “similar to what we had last year,” says House Education Committee Chair Bob Behning, R-Indianapolis.

It’s not clear what form their plans will take this session, but as proposed last January, lawmakers would’ve created a $7 million pilot preschool program for 1,000 low-income students statewide.

But the members of the Senate Education Committee scaled back that proposal significantly, passing legislation instead that focused on rating child care programs. The hangup on a pre-K bill this year could potentially be the same: cost.

“Everybody just keeps saying, ‘We want pre-K,’ and I’ve never even had an explanation of what services they want or what their objectives would be,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, told StateImpact last week.

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