By Andrew Pillow
A House bill that aims to expand the state’s pre-k program was just approved in the senate. However, the approved bill barely resembles the one that arrived on the senate floor.
House Bill 1004 was approved 38-11 but the amended version lacks a significant amount of funding that the previous version had. Republican legislators cut the proposed increase for the On My Way Pre-K program from $20 million down to $6 million.
According to WFYI, the main issue that many conservatives had with the bill was the cost of the proposed program. Senators frequently cited that they didn’t want to “double the funding for the state’s preschool pilot program.”
Proponents of the bill are not happy with the new version and many have already voiced their displeasure. Sen. Karen Tallian (D) for example, voted no because in her opinion the bill does not go nearly far enough.
The battle over the bill will also likely include debates about vouchers as the senate also allocated money for vouchers within the program amendment.
The senate has expressed interest in expanding the On My Way Pre-K program to all 92 counties, however advocates asked for a $50 million increase to make the program truly “universal”.
Read more here. (WFYI)
See the bill here.