Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg and state superintendent Glenda Ritz detailed their proposal for universal pre-k Thursday, explaining why they want it for all kids and not just those for low income families.
The two Democrats want to create a new statewide pre-k program, different from the current pilot program supported by Governor Mike Pence, On My Way Pre-K.
On My Way Pre-K grants pre-k scholarships to low income families, but Ritz says she wants the program to be available for all students.
“Middle income families affording daycare and pre-k, it’s a stress on their budgets," says Ritz.
Universal pre-k would cost the state and estimated $150 million a year.
Ritz says funding for this program can come from current money dedicated toward pre-k and other education needs. Gregg says they would also like to utilize federal money for pre-k, but is also confident the state can pay for it on its own.
Gregg says this program is good education policy and he hopes Republicans in the legislature recognize that.
“My fear is if you just make it income weighted, they think this is just another one of these government programs, that they would call welfare programs, and it’s not, it’s education," he says.