Chamber Keeps Up Push For Pre-K

Posted: Updated:

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is continuing its call for expanded state-funded pre-kindergarten for children from low-income families throughout the state. In written testimony before an interim study committee, Vice President of Education and Workforce Development Caryl Auslander laid out policy points that involve quality, accessibility and data requirements. She says the chamber is "cautiously optimistic" an expansion will make its way through the upcoming budget-writing session.

Auslander tells Inside INdiana Business an investment will have a positive impact on business.

The primary points Auslander wants the legislature to consider include:

  • expanding the pilot program to include more 4-year-olds in the state whose families have low incomes
  • spend state dollars wisely
  • suggesting providers reach levels 3 or 4 on the Paths to Quality rating system
  • accessible to working parents, including near homes and workplaces or reachable by public transportation
  • suggesting a mixed-delivery system, which would include providers in centers, public schools, private schools, ministries and homes
  • ensure data reporting requirements currently in place in the pilot program continue
  • find an "appropriate fiscal number" for the program, noting it's a major investment, but a "worthwhile one"

Auslander says college and career-ready standards in schools have made kindergarten "more like first grade" these days, so "it is our hope that attending a quality pre-k program will mitigate the high costs of remediation and have students more prepared to learn in their educational career."

The chamber says expanding pre-k is a priority and in the first gubernatorial debate of the year, which focused on education and took place in Indianapolis this week, all three candidates addressed it.

Indiana Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Education and Workforce Development Caryl Auslander tells Inside INdiana Business an investment will have a positive impact on business.
  • Perspectives

    • Creating the Work Spaces that Draw Talent to Indianapolis

      The future economy will be driven by data, powered by robotics and heavily invested in the building blocks of nature – biotech and genetic engineering. That’s true of the economy nationwide, and it’s especially true here in Indianapolis, where dominant pharmaceutical and biotech companies are putting us at the cutting edge of the science-based economy. It all sounds larger than life. But the facilities that will house these industries will always be...



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Allison and Stanley Chen provided the lead gift for the campaign. (Provided Photo/ISI)

      International School Launches Capital Campaign

      The International School of Indiana has publicly launched a capital campaign to establish a unified campus in Indianapolis. As part of the ONE ISI campaign, the school is looking to raise $6.5 million to build a new school building for pre-elementary and elementary students at the site of its middle and high schools. The public launch follows a 10-month silent phase of the campaign, during which ISI raised $5 million from more than two dozen donors. Currently, ISI's operations are...

    • Amanda Stephenson is the founder and president of Expert RN|MD. (Inside INdiana Business Photo/Mary-Rachel Redman)

      Medical Consulting Firm Opens Downtown Indy HQ

      A medical consulting startup is celebrating the grand opening of its new downtown Indianapolis headquarters. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Expert RN|MD, which provides medical consultation services to law firms and life science companies, is investing $1.7 million in the new location and plans to create up to 21 jobs by the end of 2023. The firm was founded in 2018 and recently renovated the 4,000-square-foot space in the downtown's Wholesale District. In an interview...

    • Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch will be on hand for the announcement.

      Jobs Announcement Set for Indy

      City and state officials will Wednesday make a jobs announcement in downtown Indianapolis. Few details are available, however the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says leaders from an Indianapolis-based startup will be involved.

    • The person selected will fill the vacancy on the ballot left by Mike Pence.

      Vice President Pence to Visit Indy for Free-Trade Discussion

      Vice President Mike Pence will return to Indianapolis on Sept. 26 at an event to discuss the free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. A panel will discuss the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, starting at 12:15 p.m. Sept. 26 at MacAllister Machinery, 6300 Southeastern Ave.

    • Money magazine judges Fishers as 3rd best place to live in the U.S.

      Fishers Makes Top 10 List of 'Best Places to Live'

      Three communities in Indiana made the top 100 list of best places to live in the country, but only one made the top 10. Fishers was judged by Money magazine as the third best place to live in the United States, behind Clarksville, Tennessee and Round Rock, Texas.