Thank you for considering joining Early Learning Indiana, the Indiana Association of United Ways, the Indiana Chamber, United Way of Central Indiana and many others in the All IN 4 Pre-K coalition. We hope you will officially join the coalition by signing the statement below.
Your support is critical to showcase deep and broad support for pre-k expansion. We look forward to highlighting your support to lawmakers. Please write Kent Mitchell with any questions.
Indiana Statehouse Lawmakers –
We are diverse organizations with a presence in Senate and House districts across the state of Indiana, united by a simple belief—success starts early. We believe that expanding access to high-quality pre-k for low-income families should be a top priority in the upcoming 2017 session.
Indiana is at a historic turning point for our youngest children. Thanks to your support, state-funded pre-k pilot programs have succeeded in serving more Hoosier children. We know from independent evaluations by Indiana and Purdue University researchers that these pilot programs are getting positive results. United Ways, private sector businesses, philanthropic organizations, local coalitions and city governments, like the City of Indianapolis, have stepped up to invest in and build a high-quality pre-k system in Indiana.
Yet, pre-k remains out of reach for thousands of young children. Only an estimated 2,800 children were served in state or city pre-k pilots in the last school year. The Governor’s Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) estimates there are nearly 30,000 “unserved” four-year olds in our state. Similarly, many counties in our state have few or no high-quality pre-k options, meaning thousands of families that want pre-k for their child have no access at all.
This gap in pre-k access is unacceptable and Hoosier voters want to see this change. We know from a scientific, independent statewide poll from April 2016 that 71% of registered voters support a significant expansion of high-quality, voluntary pre-k. That support cuts across urban and rural communities, parents and non-parents, Republicans and Democrats.
As you consider expanding pre-k in Indiana, we support other key principles in All IN 4 Pre-K’s Roadmap for pre-k expansion, Success Starts Early:
- Build up all types of high-quality pre-k programs including schools, centers, Head Starts, ministries and family homes.
- Allow parents to use scholarships among pre-k programs of their choice, empowering families in the pre-k decision-making process.
- Invest in pre-k programs that support a wide range of outcomes that lead to school success, not just the academic, but also the social-emotional and interpersonal outcomes—curiosity and love of learning, among others.
We know you face many competing priorities, but consider the impact pre-k expansion can have on our state.
An independent economic study of Hoosier pre-k estimates that for every $1 spent on Indiana pre-k, $4 are returned in the form of lower spending on special education, Kindergarten retention and other areas.
Imagine for a moment that we expand access to just 10,000 pre-k students a year. That would be 10,000 better prepared Kindergarten students and future leaders of our state.
It is time to make a long-term commitment to high-quality pre-k in Indiana and we encourage you to act in the 2017 session.