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Pre-K Pilot Could Expand Quickly To Include Tippecanoe County

Noah Coffey

As Indiana’s “On My Way Pre-K” pilot program launches this month, lawmakers are discussing the potential to expand the initiative.

Legislation waiting for consideration proposes including 13 other counties originally selected as finalists in the program. That would add Tippecanoe County to the mix before most other counties.

House Bill 1129 and Senate Bill 344 suggest funding the extension through the state lottery administrative fund.

The majority of lottery revenue currently goes to the state’s general fund, which is then earmarked for specific projects such as Build Indiana, which pools funds for redevelopment throughout the state.

In addition, county leaders that have already gone to area businesses for money would likely need to go back – when many promised it was a one-time donation.

Sen. Earline Rogers (D-Gary), who wrote the Senate proposal, says she’ll focus on trying to solve this.

"This might be an opportunity for us to make a case of getting some additional state dollars to this effort," Rogers says. "I think that can be done through some personal conversations with the governor’s office or with the budget committee to make certain those dollars will be there."

The law that established the pilot called for $10 million a year.