Applications Open For Half-Year In 10 Pre-K Expansion Counties

Sep 26, 2017

The state-funded preschool pilot program that began with five counties was expanded during the 2017 legislative session for 15 more counties. Now, parents in 10 of those counties can apply for half-year preschool.

But all low-income families applying will also have to comply with a new program requirement.

A state grant would pay for half or full day preschool for a 4-year-old child beginning next January.

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80-percent of Indiana’s upcoming high school seniors eligible for the state’s 21st Century Scholars program aren’t meeting the requirements to receive those scholarships. 

The legislature created new requirements for the 21st Century Scholars program back in 2011.  At the time, only about 10-percent of students who earned the scholarships were graduating college on time. 

Indiana Coalition Calls For Higher Minimum Wage

Jan 26, 2015
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A coalition of Indiana groups rallied outside the Indiana Statehouse Monday calling for an increase in the state’s minimum wage.

Indiana Institute for Working Families Senior Policy Analyst Derek Thomas says the current $7.25 an hour is far from enough needed to support families.

Thomas says $10.10 an hour is more in line with what the number should be when inflation dating to 1968 is considered.

Thomas says the rise in poverty affects everyone, including the middle class, members of which are also feeling the pinch.

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In a few years, student bodies at some major public universities could include more low-income and first-generation collegians.

That’s the goal of the University Innovation Alliance, a group of 11 schools joining forces Tuesday. The Alliance’s goal is to help those students – whom numbers suggest don’t succeed as often as their peers from well-to-do backgrounds – graduate at a higher rate.

The Lafayette Housing Authority (LHA) plans to take applications for new clients this year. LHA closed its waiting list more than a year ago due to high demand and limited funds to help low-income families secure housing.

Executive Director Al Davis says when they closed the list, there were 1,200 families needing assistance. He says the situation seemed almost hopeless to those seeking help.

“Folks would sign up. We would tell them it would take at least two, if not three, years for them to be assisted,” he recalls.

Lafayette Urban Ministry (LUM) is beginning its 10th year helping low-income individuals and families file tax returns.

Director of Social Justice Ministries Patti O'Callaghan says the goal is to get as many filers as possible to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). She says last year, 1400 returns were filed and approximately $2.5 million dollars in refunds were issued through the program.