House supports Behning’s pre-K expansion bill

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Tuesday, February 7, 2017 4:11 pm

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 7, 2017) —State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis) legislation to expand the On My Way Pre-K pilot program passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives today with a vote of 61-34.

House Bill 1004 would expand the state’s On My Way Pre-K, a pilot program that was established in 2014 and currently serves nearly 2,300 students in five counties. Under this proposal, up to five more counties could be added, nearly doubling the amount of low-income families who could benefit from the program. Behning said only high-quality programs and providers in the new counties would be eligible to participate.

“This program focuses on bringing high-quality education to children living in poverty and providing them with a strong start to their academic careers,” said Behning, chair of the House Committee on Education. “It is common for low-income children to come to kindergarten up to 18 months behind their classmates. Providing these kids with early education opportunities is a step toward closing this achievement gap and setting them on a path toward success.”

In addition, this legislation would 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. Behning said priority would be given to children who are most in need.

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

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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.