A preschool pilot program for families of low-income students has passed through the Indiana House and Senate. The measure provides grants of up to $6,800 for eligible families in five counties. The bill also establishes a study commission to examine the economic impact of pre-kindergarten learning programs.
March 13, 2014
Statehouse — House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1004, authored by House Education Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) and co-authored by House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) passed out of both Houses and is now headed to the governor's desk to be signed into law. HEA 1004 establishes a preschool pilot program for students from low-income families. Eligible students can receive grants between $2,500 and $6,800.
“Last year, House Republicans took a small step toward our goal of improving Pre-K education opportunities for students,” said Rep. Behning. “This session, with bipartisan support, we were able to accomplish our goal of establishing a preschool pilot program for children of poverty. These children typically start almost a year and a half behind their peers, and it’s important that we set them up for the best future possible.”
HEA 1004 creates a five-county preschool pilot program. Eligible students must be 4 years old with a family income of no more than 127 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, which is roughly $30,000 for a family of four. Indiana is currently one of 10 states that does not offer state-funded preschool programs.
The bill also creates a study commission, which will study several topics including the economic benefits of Pre-K and early learning programs.
“There is no doubt that a high quality education provides the foundation of a child’s education,” said Speaker Bosma. “A solid educational foundation provides a child with limitless career opportunities in the future.”
The bill will now be signed into law by the governor.
Source: Indiana House of Representatives Republican Caucus