STATEHOUSE (Feb. 15, 2017) – A bill authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) to determine the level of participants in Indiana pre-K programs passed the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development today.
Senate Bill 224 would require the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration to conduct a survey to determine how many four-year-old Indiana students were enrolled in prekindergarten during the 2015-2016 school year. The bill passed by a vote of 7 to 2.
“Right now, the state of Indiana is unsure how many children are enrolled in pre-K programs,” Leising said. “Before we expand state funding for these programs, we need to make sure students are actually utilizing them.”
Last September, the Early Learning Advisory Committee conducted a survey and found that approximately 84,333 four-year-old children live in Indiana. However, the state does not know the exact number of four-year-olds served by all categories of pre-K programs.
Some children are served by Head Start, Child Care and Development Fund vouchers, special education preschool, public school prekindergarten, Early Matching Grant preschool, On My Way preschool, church and private preschools, and the online pilot UPSTART program in Floyd County.
“This survey would allow us to find and verify the number of students using high-quality paths to quality programs,” Leising said. “Once we know what we are dealing with, we will be able to make an informed decision and advance prekindergarten opportunities.”
SB 224 will now be considered by the full Senate.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Leising.
Molly Swigart, Press Secretary
Lindsey Ross, Press Secretary Intern