The pre-K pilot proposal that passed easily in the House last week will face an uphill battle when it reaches the Senate Education Committee later this month.
Similar legislation fizzled last year when it reached the upper chamber, where Senators cited cost concerns and scaled back the proposal.
“Obviously this is a short session, not a budget session,” says Indiana Department of Education spokesman Daniel Altman. “As far as what’s going to happen with this legislation, I think it’s up in the air.”
But Altman says the department, which supports lawmakers’ pre-K proposal, has a plan for developing the administrative and data systems necessary to support Indiana’s early learning programs, even if funding for a voucher program doesn’t materialize this year.
“We’re definitely talking about things that can be accomplished with little to no additional funding so we can make sure when the funding does come, we’re laying the groundwork right now,” he says.