Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Pence Signs Pre-K Legislation, Committing State Funds To Early Childhood Education

Gov. Mike Pence signs legislation creating a state-funded preschool pilot program.

Brandon Smith / StateImpact Indiana

Gov. Mike Pence signs legislation creating a state-funded preschool pilot program.

Gov. Mike Pence says legislation to create a preschool pilot program is the beginning of a new chapter of hope and opportunity for Indiana’s disadvantaged children.

The pilot program will provide anywhere between $2,500 and $6,800 per child so low-income Hoosier kids in five counties can attend a high quality preschool program. Pence signed the bill Thursday at DayStar Childcare Ministries in Indianapolis, which is run by Englewood Christian Church.

“In a neighborhood like this one that has some economic challenges, it means that children won’t be sitting in front of the television set; they won’t be playing unattended out in yards,” says pastor Mike Bowling. “They’re going to be with other children and they’re going to be learning and they’re going to ready for kindergarten when the time comes.”

Pence says his administration is already working to get the program up and running as soon as possible.

“We’re going to identify those counties that we think are going to be best suited for rolling out this program, and my hope is that we’ll be able to initiate this program within the next year,” he says.

The Family and Social Services Administration will provide $10 million for the program. Up to $5 million will come from private sources.

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