Committee advances Behning’s bill expanding pre-K to the House floor

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Tuesday, January 31, 2017 6:39 pm

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 31, 2017) — The House Committee on Education approved State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis) legislation to expand the On My Way Pre-K pilot program today with a vote of 9-4.

On My Way Pre-K is a pre-K pilot program that was established in 2014, and it currently serves nearly 2,300 students in Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties. Under this proposal, up to five more counties could be added, nearly doubling the amount of students who can benefit from the program. Behning said only high-quality programs and providers in the new counties would be eligible to participate.

“This responsible expansion of Indiana’s pre-K pilot program will provide more at-risk children the opportunity to obtain a high-quality early childhood education,” said Behning, chair of the House Committee on Education. “Attending preschool can provide a number of long-term benefits, including increased graduation rates and higher wage-earning potential. My goal with this bill is to close the achievement gap for low-income children and make an investment in young Hoosiers.”

In addition to expanding the number of counties participating in On My Way Pre-K, this legislation would also revise the program’s eligibility requirement and threshold from 127 percent of the federal poverty level to 150 percent of the federal free or reduced lunch program.

House Bill 1004 now moves to the full House for consideration. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more about this legislation.

-30-

State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,

which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.

A high-resolution photo of Behning can be downloaded by clicking here