John Gregg proposed state funding for preschoolJuly 18th, 2012 at 5:35 pm by Jim Shella under Jim Shella's Political Blog
John Gregg, the Democratic candidate for governor, wants the state to begin funding pre-kindergarten programs. It’s a proposal he rolled out in Terre Haute today.
Under Governor Mitch Daniels the state has just reached the point where it provides full funding for all day kindergarten. Gregg wants that progress to continue with a state funded pilot program for preschoolers.
He also wants the funding for full day kindergarten to continue but points out that most other states already fund at least some programs for preschoolers. In Indiana only kids in federally funded Head Start programs are eligible for free pre-K classes. “But we are one of only 8 states that do anything for these young students, that spend no money on pre-kindergarten,” he said, “and it’s time we do that.”
Gregg is also proposing an unspecified tax credit for families who take advantage of private preschools. “If the child care is at a pre-K type school where they’re getting not just the babysitting,” he said, “but where they’re getting somebody where there’s some type of educational component.”
Gregg cites no price tag for his plan but says it is patterned after a Wisconsin plan that costs $85 million. He argues that studies show early childhood investments save states money, and that includes prison costs, over the long term.
Republican Mike Pence responded through a spokesperson by saying that the best preschool is a strong, healthy family.
Meantime, the Gregg campaign continues to rely on policy statements rather than TV commercials that are the staple of the Pence campaign. Experts will tell you the TV ads are much more effective.