January 23, 2019

Senate Committee Approves Bipartisan Bill To Qualify More Children For On My Way Pre-K

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Senate Committee Approves Bipartisan Bill To Qualify More Children For On My Way Pre-K - Steve Burns/WTIU

Senate Committee Approves Bipartisan Bill To Qualify More Children For On My Way Pre-K

Steve Burns/WTIU

More children would qualify for state-funded preschool under a proposal lawmakers on the Senate education committee approved Wednesday.

The bill would expand eligibility requirements allowing children living with a grandparent or a guardian who has a disability to participate in On My Way Pre-K.

On My Way Pre-K is available in 20 of Indiana's 92 counties, and offers preschool funding to low-income families. Current rules require at least one parent or guardian has to be in school or working for a child to qualify.

Bill author Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Gary) says his legislation is one step toward a clear goal.

"Well at the bottom line of this, we as a state should be investing more in Pre-K," he says.

Gov. Eric Holcomb wants to serve at least 500 more children through On My Way Pre-K in existing counties this year, and lawmakers have said they hope to expand it soon.

Melton says allowing more children to qualify will also help the state learn how to best roll out the program statewide.

"So I think we're still in the research phase of figuring out where we are as a state with this particular program," he says.

The bill now goes to the Senate's financial committee.

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