The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Breaking News

March 14, 2013

Indiana Senate panel weighs preschool pilot program

INDIANAPOLIS — Public and private school advocates displayed rare unity Wednesday in support of preschool for Indiana children but split over an effort to give children school vouchers once they complete preschool.

An effort led by House Republicans to spend $7 million on a pilot program that would pay for 1,000 students to attend preschool has won broad bipartisan support. But lobbyists representing public school teachers, local school boards and school superintendents rang an alarm bell Wednesday about a provision that would allow those children greater access to school vouchers.

"This is a gateway to vouchers, it's something our association does not support," Frank Bush, director of the Indiana School Boards Association, told the Senate Education and Career Development Committee on Wednesday.

The measure touches on one hot-button of the school voucher debate: Should a child spend a year in public school before qualifying for a voucher, as state law now requires? Voucher supporters have tried hard to eliminate that wait-time, and the preschool program would create at least one workaround by allowing preschoolers to qualify immediately for school vouchers.

House Education Chairman Rep. Bob Behning, R-Indianapolis, defended his proposal Wednesday, saying it is more limited it was being portrayed.

Behning has led an effort in recent months to put more Indiana children through preschool. He says he was surprised by how infrequently children in low-income families are read to before being enrolled in kindergarten.

Though plans to provide more early childhood education have won broad support, more questions have cropped up since the measure passed the House 93-6 last month.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, said he was concerned that running a pilot program for 1,000 students could create pressure to put every qualified child in preschool, which could cost between $200 million and $500 million a year.

"The other issue, in all honesty, has to be funding. And if this is good for a few kids, a thousand kids, it's probably good for a lot of kids," he said.

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • news_skoreaferry.jpg Ferry captain arrested in South Korea disaster

    A prosecutor says the captain of the South Korean ferry that sank two days ago has been arrested.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clinton visit.jpg Documents: Clinton sought GOP support for health care

    Thousands of pages of documents from President Bill Clinton's White House affirm a longtime adage: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Student struggles to recount fatal truck-bus crash

    Most of the 911 calls from witnesses to last week's fiery truck-bus collision that killed 10 were matter of fact. Then there was the one from a passenger: With shrieks in the background, the student struggled to recount how a truck came roaring toward them.

    April 18, 2014

  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

     A powerful, magnitude-7.5 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was centered northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.

    April 18, 2014

  • Doomed ferry's sharp turn, slow evacuation probed

    The investigation into South Korea's ferry disaster focused on the sharp turn it took just before it began listing and on the possibility that a quicker evacuation order by the captain could have saved lives, officials said Friday, as rescuers struggled to find some 270 people still missing and feared dead.

    April 18, 2014

  • Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak.

    April 18, 2014

  • news_horselesscarriage.jpg Proposed car to replace NYC horse carriages shown

    An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City was presented Thursday at the New York International Auto Show, as critics expressed their distaste for the idea.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_southwest.jpg Flight lands safely in Indiana after threat

    An Indianapolis airport spokesman said a Southwest Airlines flight safely made an emergency landing after the airline received some kind of threat.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis police officer kills ex-wife, self

    Authorities say an Indianapolis police officer shot and killed his estranged wife, also an officer, and then turned the gun on himself.

    April 18, 2014

  • news_homesickforprison.jpg Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3½ years

    An ex-con who spent most of his adult life behind bars on Thursday got what he said he wanted for robbing a suburban Chicago bank. The 74-year-old gets to go back to the place he called home — prison.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

What do you think of Anderson's decision to have an Independence Day parade and other festivities on July 3?

That's great!
Should be OK
What a waste of money!
     View Results