all_in_for_pre_kThe Marshall County Community Foundation and United Way of Marshall County have signed up to support the All IN for Pre-K proposal that will be presented to Indiana Statehouse Lawmakers during the 2017 session.

Diverse organizations across the state of Indiana are united by a simple belief—success starts early. They believe that expanding access to high-quality pre-k for low-income families should be a top priority in the upcoming 2017 legislation session.

Indiana is at a historic turning point for our youngest children. The state-funded pre-k pilot programs have succeeded in serving more Hoosier children. We know from independent evaluations by Indiana and Purdue University researchers that these pilot programs are getting positive results. United Ways, private sector businesses, philanthropic organizations, local coalitions and city governments have stepped up to invest in and build a high-quality pre-k system in Indiana.

Pre-k remains out of reach for thousands of young children. Only an estimated 2,800 children were served in state or city pre-k pilots in the last school year. The Governor’s Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) estimates there are nearly 30,000 “unserved” four-year olds in our state.

This gap in pre-k access is unacceptable and Hoosier voters want to see this change.  A scientific, independent statewide poll from April 2016 showed that 71% of registered voters support a significant expansion of high-quality, voluntary pre-k. That support cuts across urban and rural communities, parents and non-parents, Republicans and Democrats.

An independent economic study of Hoosier pre-k estimates that for every $1 spent on Indiana pre-k, $4 are returned in the form of lower spending on special education, Kindergarten retention and other areas.