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[r78] Early Childhood Education Bill passes the House
Start Date: 4/16/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 4/16/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

STATEHOUSE — Senate Bill (SB) 338 passed out of the House yesterday with an 82 to 10 vote. SB 338 deals with various education matters, but was amended to include language aimed at providing more low-income children access to high quality early childhood education. State Representative Suzanne Crouch (R-Evansville) authored the amendment.

Rep. Crouch’s amendment creates an early education matching grant program. If local businesses or individuals will provide money to high quality pre-school programs, those pre-schools can apply to receive state grants in an equal dollar amount. The combined grant money would be used to provide scholarships for low-income students.

“Currently, 61 percent of Hoosier children ages 3 to 4 are not enrolled in preschool,” said Rep. Crouch. “Many of these students will enter the first grade without having ever setting foot in a classroom. We want to do more at the state level to provide low-income students with access to high quality early childhood education,” said Rep. Crouch.”

A significant aspect of this community partnership is that the pre-schools applying for state grants are high quality education providers. To be eligible to apply for state grants, the pre-schools must:

• be designated as a Level 3 or 4 Paths to QUALITY provider
• provide at least 180 days of service per year
• administer the kindergarten readiness assessment and
• require a parental involvement component 

According to a study by the United Way of Central Indiana, children in poverty are read to an average of 25 hours before they begin first grade. By comparison, middle class children are read to an average of 1000 hours before starting first grade.

“Providing matching grants will increase the number of students who can access high quality early childhood education,” said Rep. Crouch. “High quality early education will lay a foundation for these students that will benefit them for the rest of their life.”

Since the bill was amended in the House, it will be returned to the Senate.

-30-

Rep. Crouch (R-Evansville) represents portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties

 

Contact Information:
Name: Jay Wood
Phone: 317-232-9705
Email: jwood@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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