Governor’s Preschool Proposal Takes another Knockdown

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO):  Governor Mike Pence’s preschool proposal has taken another knockdown punch in the Senate.

Last week, a Senate committee replaced Pence’s call for a preschool financial aid program with a study committee to assess how to pay for it and whether it’s worth it.

An attempt to revive a proposed five-county pilot program shuffled alliances, with Democrats leading the charge for the Republican governor, while Avon Republican Pete Miller, who sponsored the original bill, sheepishly quoted Secretary of State John Kerry’s line from his 2004 presidential campaign, saying he was “for it before he was against it.”

Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says even a pilot program would cost 20-million dollars, while a statewide aid program could cost more than a quarter-billion a year. He says he’d rather wait for next year’s budget-writing session, and use the summer to study what he says are critical questions about the program.

Supporters have one chance left to revive the pilot program, when House and Senate negotiators work out a final version of the bill.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) acknowledged last week a study committee is inevitable, but said he‘s hopeful the study can be paired with the beginnings of an aid program.