Senate Will Not Revive Pre-K Pilot Program

Feb 24, 2014

Indiana Democratic Senators Tim Lanane and John Broden failed to revive a preschool pilot program Monday that was previously eliminated in committee.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Senate Republicans Monday rejected an attempt to revive a preschool pilot program that had been eliminated in a Senate committee last week.

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation creating a pilot program that would provide vouchers for 1,000 low-income Hoosier children to attend preschool.  But the Senate Education Committee gutted the bill, replacing the pilot program with a study committee that will examine specific issues with pre-Kindergarten education. 

South Bend Democratic Senator John Broden wants to add the pilot program back into the bill.

“Establish a pilot program, a mix of urban and rural counties, so that along with the study committee we could really see how early childhood education is working here in the state of Indiana,” Broden said.

Noblesville Republican Luke Kenley says the state needs to determine the best way to administer pre-K education first before committing to a pilot program.

“At $10 million a year, that’s a pretty expensive approach to this when you don’t even have the thing synthesized in your own mind yet,” Kenley said.

The Senate rejected Broden’s proposal 36 to 11.