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Pre-K May Soon Be Funded By the State in All Counties

The bill that has passed the House will let the state fund any high-quality pre-K.

STATE HOUSE--Pre-K may soon be available to any four-year-old in Indiana. The Indiana House passed a bill that would allow the state to provide money to any high-quality pre-k provider.

The bill is called On My Way Pre-K, and is an expansion of a pilot program already in place in 20 counties.It must be considered by the Senate and passed to become law.

State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) said priority would be given to the providers in the 20 counties participating in the original pilot program. 

“Even though we have come a long way to serve many young Hoosiers across the state, more than 27,000 children from low-income families still do not have access to a high-quality pre-K,” said Behning, chair of the House Education Committee. 

“Because early learning helps develop critical life skills like following directions and working with others, students who attend pre-K are often more likely to graduate high school and have more wage-earning potential.” 

Behning said students who do not attend pre-K, especially those from low-income families, often enter school up to 18 months developmentally behind their peers. According to Behning, this achievement gap could still be present in middle school without some form of early education. 

The pilot program was expanded to 20 counties in 2017.

PHOTO: Indiana legislature

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