(INDIANAPOLIS) - Governor Pence says the creation of Indiana's first state-funded preschool aid program will bring long-term benefits to some of Indiana's most vulnerable children.
Pence visited an Indianapolis day care center to sign into law the bill creating a five-county preschool pilot program. The Family and Social Services Administration will select a mix of urban, suburban and rural counties.
Pence says Indiana is the last Midwestern state to take a step toward state-funded preschool. He predicts making preschool accessible to low-income kids will help them do better in school and reduce dropout and prison rates. The bill calls for the state to track participating pupils through their first years of school to see if the program delivers on its promises.
A separate legislative study committee will review the arguments for preschool over the summer.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) joined the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, Michigan City Representative Scott Pelath and Anderson Senator Tim Lanane, for the bill signing. Pence thanked the two minority leaders for setting aside differences on other issues to rally bipartisan support for the bill.
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