Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and Democratic candidate for governor John Gregg are set to unveil Thursday their proposal for a statewide pre-kindergarten program. The topic is one of many on Ritz’ recently-released Imagine 2020 plan.
Ritz and Gregg will detail the proposal after meeting with students at Amy Beverland Early Learning Center in Indianapolis. As she unveiled the Imagine 2020 plan last week, Ritz said the state could provide high-quality, state-funded, universal access to pre-K education by investing in early learning infrastructure.
"Indiana should invest in a public/private Community Pre-K Coalition approach that provides a high quality option within the geographic boundaries of all traditional public school districts," said Ritz. "Through a combination of leveraging federal dollars, reverting state allocations, and eliminating wasteful spending in the state’s budget, the funds are there if the political will exists. With less than 1% of the state’s annual budget, we can ensure more of our children are kindergarten ready."
Currently, five Indiana counties – Allen, Lake, Marion, Jackson and Vanderburgh – are in the second year of the state’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program.
The press conference is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Thursday.