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Indianapolis schools to launch preschool program

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, January 7, 2013 - 7:32 am

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Public Schools is preparing to roll out what the district believes will become the state's biggest publicly-led full-day preschool program.

District officials say they hope to enroll this month about 1,400 4-year-olds, or about half of the district's 4-year-olds, in the free preschool program.

The preschool will start in the fall. The program will cost about $8 million annually and will next year employ about 105 district staff, including 51 teachers and 51 classroom assistants. About three-fourths of the funding comes from federal poverty programs.

Indiana is one of just eight states that provide no state aid for preschool programs.

Superintendent Eugene White tells The Indianapolis Star the district needs the program to close the skills gap many of its students bring with them to kindergarten.