Governor’s pre-k effort should be supported

New Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has laid out his priorities for the Legislature during this budget session, with emphasis on workforce development, developing funding streams to create a 20-year roads and bridges plan, as well as attacking the state’s drug epidemic.

During Holcomb’s first State of the State address on Jan. 17, he offered more details on his five-point agenda. One notable point was developing a 21st century skilled and ready workforce. One of the ways he listed to accomplish that goal was for the state to make a bigger investment in pre-kindergarten.

Among all of the important matters that the state House of Representatives and Senate will have to tackle, we compel them to make education the top propriety.

At a minimum, Holcomb suggested doubling Indiana’s financial commitment to pre-k programs. Doing so would be a good second step to a previous state pre-k effort.

Then-Gov. Mike Pence funded a pre-kindergarten pilot program in five Indiana counties in 2014, with the state providing up to $10 million a year. That enabled low-income 4-year-olds to attend pre-kindergarten.

A strong start to a child’s education becomes the foundation of success in life, including good preparation for entering the workforce and finding success life in general.

When at-risk children receive a solid education, it also reduces the need for monies to be spent combating social issues.

Holcomb’s message is resonating with pre-kindergarten supporters. It should resonate with state lawmakers, too. Indiana needs to do its very best to prepare all of its children for a successful future.

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