Bill Aims to Expand Pre-K Pilot Program

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INDIANAPOLIS -

An Indiana representative from Evansville is looking to expand the state's pre-K pilot program. Holli Sullivan (R-78) is a co-author of House Bill 1004, which would bring the On My Way Pre-K program to five additional counties throughout the state.

The program was established in 2014 and serves nearly 2,300 low-income students in Allen, Lake, Marion, Jackson and Vanderburgh counties. Sullivan says, over time, the program will increase graduation rates, decrease the need for remediation and improve wage-earning potential for Indiana's youth.

"This is one more tool we can use to help close the achievement gap for low-income, at-risk children," Sullivan said in a news release. "As a parent, I understand that one of the most effective ways to support our youth is to offer them high-quality early childhood education opportunities. If we better equip our children through early education and necessary wrap around services it will provide benefits to the entire state."

The bill, co-authored by Rep. Bob Behning (R-91), does not specify which counties would be added to the program, if passed. It has been assigned to the House Education Committee for consideration.

Last year, United Way of Central Indiana Vice President of Public Policy Andrew Cullen told Inside INdiana Business Television demand for the program was so high in its first year, 3,500 applicants were turned away. 

You can view House Bill 1004 below:

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