Allen County is among the five counties picked to participate in Indiana's pre-K pilot program.
The program provides up to ten million dollars – along with local matching funds – to help low-income four-year-olds attend pre-kindergarten classes. Vouchers would go to families with incomes below 127 percent of the poverty line.
United Way of Allen County was selected to lead the campaign to bring the pilot here, and UWAC Director of Community Impact Jeanne Zehr says the program could serve more than 1,400 children when it’s up and running.
Eighteen counties, including Allen County, are being considered for the state-funded pre-k pilot program. The state legislature approved the program earlier this year and the Family and Social Services Administration announced the finalists today. Just five of those counties that will be chosen to participate in the pilot program.
Governor Mike Pence signed legislation Thursday to create a preschool pilot program he says is the beginning of a new chapter of hope and opportunity for Indiana’s disadvantaged children.
The program will provide anywhere between two thousand and six thousand dollars per child so low-income Hoosier kids in five counties can attend a high quality preschool program. Governor Pence signed the bill at DayStar Childcare Ministries in Indianapolis.
The House Thursday approved a preschool pilot program after it was seemingly left for dead just two weeks ago.
Speaker Brian Bosma says creation of the pre-k pilot wouldn’t have been possible without a funding mechanism crafted by the Senate. The program can use up to $10 million in existing funds from the Family and Social Services Administration, while at least ten percent and up to 50 percent of that in matching funds must come from private sources.
Surrounded by children at a pre-kindergarten program on the east side of Indianapolis Wednesday, Governor Pence emphasized the need for Indiana to begin providing preschool opportunities for low-income Hoosiers. He says “the time is now” for the legislature to reinstate a pre-k pilot program.
The Senate Education Committee gutted a bill last week that would have provided vouchers for one thousand low-income children in five counties to attend preschool. They replaced it with a study committee on the issue.
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.
A pilot program aimed at providing pre-kindergarten educational opportunities for low-income Hoosier kids was stripped out of a bill in a Senate committee Wednesday. The program – a major initiative of Governor Mike Pence – was replaced with a mandated study of the issue.
Proposed legislation passed overwhelmingly by the House created a framework for a preschool pilot program. It would have served about a thousand four-year-olds in five counties, with funding to kick in next year.
Indiana lawmakers say the issue of whether the state should expand publicly-funded preschool options will likely come up again in the upcoming session, but opponents remain concerned about how much a state-run pre-K program would cost.
Leaders of both political parties have expressed support for re-visiting the issue after a bid to create a $7 million preschool pilot program passed the Indiana House, but stalled in the Senate.