INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody issued the following statement upon final passage of House Enrolled Act 1004.
“The proposed funding increase is not enough. Period. It’s a $10 million annual increase in a $16 billion annual budget. That’s .0625 percent. If Statehouse Republicans think .0625 percent is a big enough investment in our children’s future, their priorities are cruelly misplaced. It’s estimated there are nearly 85,000 four-year-olds in Indiana and the current funding level supports 2,300 students. Even if the number of spots double, Statehouse Republicans think funding one spot for every 20 preschoolers is good progress. It’s an embarrassment and it’s why Indiana’s education rankings consistently lag the nation. These kids are only four-years-old once. By dragging their feet on high-quality preschool, Statehouse Republicans are putting Hoosiers kids’ future success at risk. A quality early childhood education is a critical building block toward a lifelong education and a world-class workforce. Underinvesting in our future will cost Hoosiers more in the long run.”