Indianapolis Council Approves $20M for Preschool Plan

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indianapolis City-County Council has approved directing $20 million toward a preschool program that the city's mayor says is aimed at attacking the root causes of crime.

The council voted 19-8 Monday night to support the five-year plan to provide preschool scholarships to low-income families. The city's $20 million is to be matched by contributions from the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation and Indianapolis businesses.

Some council members opposed to the plan said that education is a state responsibility and the city should be spending its money on basics such as police protection and street repairs.

The program is expected to provide preschool scholarships for between 700 and 1,200 children a year.

Republican Mayor Greg Ballard said the decision by the Democratic-led council will ultimately make the city safer.