Indianapolis City-County Council President Maggie Lewis says the council will not consider additional funding this year for Mayor Greg Ballard's proposed pre-kindergarten program, citing the Indiana General Assembly's pilot program already in place. Mayor Greg Ballard calls the move “tremendously disappointing,” saying it leaves millions of dollars in private sector donations on the table. Last week, the City-County Council Finance Committee tabled discussion of eliminating the homestead tax credit to fund the plan.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) earlier this month pledged $2 million for early childhood education. The company also said it would work to raise another $8 million for the effort, which is part of Ballard's long-term anti-crime package. During an Interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility Rob Smith and Director of State Government Affairs Mike O'Connor said the funding could be in jeopardy if the initiative became mired in politics.

Lewis says Democrats will seek a funding method to pay for early childhood education in 2016 and beyond.

September 22, 2014

Joint Statement From Indianapolis City-County Council President Maggie Lewis and Vice President John Barth

On August 18th, the Indianapolis City/County Council was proud to pass a proposal for a pre-k pilot project in partnership with the Indiana General Assembly. With this pilot project, nearly 800 Indianapolis children living in poverty will have access to high quality pre-k. While the Council has already funded a pre-k program for 2015, we are committed to seeking an approach to fund pre-k for 2016 and beyond and look forward to working with entire community and the mayor to seek bipartisan solutions that are proven, and sustainable.

Source: Office of Indianapolis City-County Council President Maggie Lewis

September 22, 2014

Statement From Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard

It is tremendously disappointing that Council Democrats have chosen to abdicate their responsibility to our children and our city. We have offered multiple funding proposals to provide high-quality pre-K to thousands of children from low-income families. The corporate community has been very clear that without sustainable funding from the city, we will lose millions of dollars in private sector donations. The public, my administration and Indy's corporate community agree the time for action is now. We remain committed to the belief that high-quality pre-K for low-income children is too important for further delay.

Source: Office of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard

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