Local News / January 8, 2014

New Session, Similar Pre-K Plan: House Ed Panel To Take Up Pilot Program Bill

Kyle Stokes - StateImpact Indiana
New Session, Similar Pre-K Plan: House Ed Panel To Take Up Pilot Program Bill

Indiana lawmakers’ attempt to create a state-funded pre-K program in this new legislative session will look a lot like their attempt at doing so last session.

The House Education committee is set to take up a bill Thursday that bears striking resemblance to a proposal the full House passed last year: Create a pilot program in five Indiana counties that provides scholarships for low-income 4-year-olds to attend preschool.

That idea didn’t pass muster with the Senate Education committee last year. Lawmakers in that chamber scaled back the proposal over concerns with its cost, which was then estimated at $7 million annually for 1,000 students.

Skepticism about pre-K’s potential cost remains. But pre-K vouchers gained a powerful public ally this fall in Gov. Mike Pence — and the question is whether his support will be enough to turn the tide.

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