After months of negotiations, city-county council leaders today announced that they’ve reached a deal to expand access to high-quality Pre-K education. The program would spend roughly $40 million over five years helping qualified families pay for early childhood education.
Council President Maggie Lewis and Vice President John Barth said today that they’ve identified $15 million to spend over five years, and they’ve committed to finding additional money each year. The money would come from removing 35,000 homes from the Homestead Tax Credit program, reallocating funds for charter school oversight, and interest from the Fiscal Stability Fund.
If the ordinance is approved, the investment would leverage $10 million in private funding, which Eli Lilly and Company has pledged to raise.
Some council members opposed eliminating the tax credit, but this proposal would target ineligible homes instead of eliminating the program.
Mayor Greg Ballard, who has been pushing for the program since he made it a major part of his crime-fighting plan, said “today marks a great day for the future of our city and its children.”
“Indy is now positioning itself as a leader in local support for preschool. The research is clear - children from low-income families who attend high-quality preschool do better in school later in life and are less likely to get in trouble with the law as juveniles and as adults,” Ballard said.