2013 Indiana General Assembly

3-year-olds dropped from state preschool proposal

2013-02-14T13:07:00Z 2013-02-14T18:32:06Z 3-year-olds dropped from state preschool proposalBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
February 14, 2013 1:07 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana House agreed Thursday to limit participation in a preschool voucher pilot program to 4-year-olds only.

House Bill 1004 came out of committee with 3- and 4-year-olds eligible for the program.

State Rep. Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, persuaded the House to drop 3-year-olds to create a unified group of participants, as just 1,000 students statewide would receive a preschool voucher worth up to $6,800.

The legislation, which is set for a final House vote next week, creates a $7.2 million preschool voucher program in five to-be-determined counties.

An attempt by state Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, to require preschool voucher recipients attend one year of public school before qualifying for a regular school voucher was rejected by the Republican-controlled chamber.

Several Democratic lawmakers said they want to support the preschool program but won't if it automatically entitles participants to an elementary school voucher.

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