Study: Indiana ranks low in pre-K programs

Study: Ind. ranks low in pre-K programs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A new study says Indiana ranks poorly in access to pre-K programs.

The concern is access to high-quality, state-funded pre-k programs really depends on where families live and educators don't want children to fall behind.

The organization behind the study believes new job and education requirements for parents have created barriers. Parents who receive scholarships for their children are required to have a job or attend a certified or accredited job training or education program.

So where does Indiana rank exactly? It came in second to last, 43 of 44 on the list of places that offer state-funded pre-K programs, according to Early Learning Indiana's study.

More than 27,000 of the 4-year-olds living within the state aren't enrolled in pre-K programs, mostly due to their affordability.

While Indiana may be behind other states, the study finds Hoosier leaders are taking the steps necessary to expand access.

In April, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill to expand the state's On My Way pre-K program from five to 20 counties in 2018. The legislation also increased funding for early education programs by $10 million per year.

In order for all children to have access to preschool, it would cost the state an estimated $150 million in the first year.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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