Holcomb: "The State Of Our State Is Sound"

Jan 17, 2017




Gov. Eric Holcomb used his State of the State address to make another pitch for creating a long-term, sustainable road funding plan. But he also continues to avoid specifics on how to pay for that plan.

Legislative leaders have said they want the governor to be a strong voice for the tax increases that are likely to be part of the road funding plan. Holcomb only says that if the state asks Hoosiers to invest more in their infrastructure, the return will be worth it.

Inside A Dual-Language Preschool For Migrant Workers' Children

Oct 19, 2016
Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Depending on the season, Indiana farms employ between 2,000 and 20,000 migrant farm workers. When workers migrate, often their families do, too.

Children in this mobile lifestyle can face interrupted schooling, cultural and language barriers, and social isolation — factors that inhibit a child’s ability to do well in school.

Rachel Morello/Indiana Public Broadcasting

A pre-K advocacy group made up of Indiana businesses and philanthropic organizations asked a group of legislators on Wednesday to give more funding to pre-K scholarships for low-income families, and legislators pushed back.

The advocacy group, which includes representatives from United Way, Eli Lilly and PNC Bank, among others, testified before the interim study committee on fiscal policy.  The committee will have influence over what is included in the state budget when the General Assembly convenes in January.

New Coalition Pushes To Expand State-Funded Pre-K

Aug 15, 2016
Jeanne Christine /

A coalition of business, government, education and philanthropic leaders say they are determined to push state lawmakers to expand state-funded preschool in the upcoming legislative session.

“All IN 4 Pre-K” is a new advocacy group that includes Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, outgoing Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Early Learning Indiana

Lechleiter says the state's pre-k pilot program is not enough to meet demand.

Ritz: Indiana Has The Money For Universal Preschool

Jun 7, 2016
Barnaby Wasson /

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz wants to see preschool available to all Indiana kids — and says it should be at the front of lawmakers’ minds as they enter the 2017 legislative session.

The $150 million proposal to expand preschool in every district in the state would be less than one percent of the state’s annual budget, Ritz said. She says it’s among the Department of Education’s top policy priorities heading into the next legislative session.

Eli Lilly and Company / Facebook

The philanthropic arm of drug maker Eli Lilly is increasing its public backing of the United Way. The Lilly Foundation announced a new partnership with the United Way that will extend to the charity’s international work on disease eradication.

Within Indiana, Lilly Foundation president Rob Smith says they’ll work to expand pre-kindergarten opportunities and the United Way’s 211 phone hotline service.

“Given the needs in our community, the demand on 211 is quite high,” Smith says. “And it will go beyond just the ability of just private philanthropy to support.”

Intiaz Rahim /

The hunger for preschool across Indiana continues to grow, fueled by initiatives like the state’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s Indy Preschool Scholarship Program. 

Both initiatives are targeted toward low-income families. Momentum is so great that programs are popping up in places you might not otherwise expect them – like the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Jackson County Moving Deliberately Toward Pre-K Pilot

Jul 13, 2015
Jeanne Christine /

The final county selected for the state’s pre-k pilot program will launch its efforts in just a few weeks.

Programs in four of the five areas started in January, but in Jackson County, officials wanted to wait so they could make room for more kids, find extra funding and get pre-k providers up to speed.

StateImpact Indiana’s Rachel Morello visited with a few of those providers to see how they’re getting ready for the fall launch.

David Shank / Shank Public Relations Counselors

Proposed legislation this General Assembly sought to make kindergarten mandatory for Hoosier children by lowering the compulsory school age from seven to five.  It’s an issue that has lawmakers and educators split -- even as the state focuses on funding early education initiatives.

Count to 100 by ones.

Solve real-world problems that involve addition and subtraction.

Understand how a nonfiction book is organized.

Those are the some of the more than 60 skills five-year-olds are expected to learn now in Indiana’s public kindergartens.

Indy Mayor Hopes To See Pre-K Program Extend State-Wide

Mar 14, 2015
US Department of Education /

The mayor of Indianapolis hopes putting his signature on a pre-K funding ordinance will both lower crime in the Circle City and send a message to the Statehouse.

Greg Ballard signed off on a more than $20 million  funding program to be used for at-risk Marion County students. The funding will stretch over five years and offset the costs of preschool for some 1300 students.