The bill would provide vouchers for children of low-income families in five pilot counties to attend public, private or religious preschools that meet certain education standards.
Critics question the feasibility of the estimated $7.5 million to $30 million price tag for the program. Questions over the effectiveness of early childhood education also are causing debate.
A committee vote on the bill is expected next week. The full Senate's support is needed before the legislation can head to Pence's desk for his signature.