Common Pre-Ok? Indiana Early Studying specialists weigh in.
The Biden Administration estimates this will save the average family $ 13,000.
“I’m concerned about the quality,” said Indiana House Education Committee chairman Bob Behning. “We’d rather have a well-considered quality program than just throwing money away and not using it wisely and not having a positive impact on children.”
Indiana has an On My Way Pre-K program that provides Grade 3 and Grade 4 Pre-K to low-income families. Level 4 is the highest rated.
“When you look at data, you could actually shoot yourself in the foot if you don’t have a really solid program,” said Behning.
COVID-19 caused a sharp drop in pre-K registration. Currently, the state knows that a third of Hoosiers under five are Pre-K grade. The rest of them could come to kindergarten unprepared.
“Often times people think about it like ABC and 123, and while these are very important to kids in their early years, we find it really important for them to learn things like being able to work with their peers,” he said Erin Kissling, Vice President, Early Learning Practice and Policy, Early Learning Indiana.
Kissling said that stronger early learning leads to a stronger K-12 system. Currently, Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K program is only offered to 4 year old children. Biden’s plan would include children ages 3 and 4.
“Learning really starts at birth, and so I think the opportunities we offer for children, if we add 3-year-olds, would certainly be helpful for the child,” said Kissling.
Behning said Pre-K has been a Republican priority at Indiana House for years. He is happy that it is being discussed across the country, but remains cautious.
“I understand what the federal proposal is. We’ll see what comes out in the end,” said Behning. “Nothing is free in life, let’s be honest. Someone pays for it at some level. “
The Biden administration said the plan would include a tax hike for the richest percent of Americans. The president promised not to impose taxes on those who earn less than $ 400,000 a year.
Would you like to learn more about Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K program? Click here. Applications for 2021-22 will be available from May 3, 2021.
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