Pence Renews Push For Pre-K Voucher Program
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana Governor Mike Pence is asking the state Senate to reconsider a bill pertaining to one of his 2014 legislative priorities: a pilot voucher program for pre-K students.
Speaking in a preschool classroom in Indianapolis Wednesday, Pence said private, faith-based programs are especially important for low income families.
“It’s the right thing to do for those kids, giving them the opportunity to arrive at kindergarten ready to learn, but it is unquestionably the right thing to do for our schools and for the future of our state,” Pence said.
House Bill 1004 would have created the pre-K voucher pilot program for youngsters in low-income families passed. It passed the House of Representatives in January with the help of area state representatives Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) and Cindy Zeimke (R-Batesville), who were among the House sponsors of the bill.
However, Senate Republicans hesitant to approve funding for a new program in a non-budget making legislative session dialed the proposal down, amending the bill last week to only create a study commission for Pence’s proposed voucher program.
The governor says there are benefits to further reassessment, but action is needed, too. He wants the full Senate to restore the bill to its original version.
“I do believe that to act and to study is the right step this year for the people of Indiana and the State of Indiana,” he said.