Friday, October 21, 2011

State legislator suggests voucherizing early ed

In addition to governors like Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is one who chose not to apply for a federal "early learning" grant from the Obama Administration. The ABC affiliate in Indianapolis reports:
State Rep. Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, said the state does not fund preschool but Indiana is also one of the few states in the black. "I think it's basically resources," Behning said. ...

The state has allocated more dollars toward funding full-day kindergarten, but Behning said more money does not always mean better results. He pointed to Oklahoma, which pioneered preschool programs but graduation rates there have not improved, he said. "There was absolutely no improvement at all. Just having early childhood (education) is not a silver bullet," Behning said.

The state currently spends $175 million on child care services through the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, money Behning said could be used to support early education. "There's no reason why we shouldn't try to make child care vouchers, and turn them into an early childhood education voucher," he said. "That's one way to leverage current dollars and not spend another dollar."

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