Indiana sets aside $1M for online programs for preschoolers

("old school" by alamosbasement, CC BY 2.0 )

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Computer-based kindergarten-readiness programs have generated some buzz — and some questions — in Indiana as lawmakers set aside $1 million for such programs.

Preschool was a high-profile issue this session, as lawmakers debated how much to expand a state program that sends poor children to preschool. They ultimately found agreement, with an added provision for the in-home preschool services.

Some education experts remain wary about such computer-based programs’ effectiveness in promoting behavioral or social learning.

Early education advocates say they’re pleased with the overall investment in preschool, which nearly doubles the funding and expands the program for poor children from five counties to up to 15.

But they question sending funding toward the online programming ahead of proven high-quality preschool programs.