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Senate GOP Rejects Pre-K Pilot Revival

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

A kindergartener at East Side Elementary in Brazil practices writing.

Photo: Elle Moxley/StateImpact Indiana

A kindergartener at East Side Elementary in Brazil practices writing.

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation creating a pilot program that would provide vouchers for one thousand 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,” says Broden.

But 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,” says Kenley.

The Senate rejected Broden’s proposal 36 to 11.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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