Community Blog: The EDge

Movement on the pre-K pilot bill

A bill to establish a pre-K pilot program will at least get a hearing this session.

The bill will be on Monday morning’s House Education Committee agenda.

No public testimony will be taken, committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt said. That is standard practice for an introductory hearing to “print” a bill.

Rep. Hy Kloc, D-Boise, and Rep. Douglas Hancey, R-Rexburg, are co-sponsoring a bill to fund five pilot pre-K programs statewide. The pilots would receive $600,000 in state money over three years, but 55 percent of their funding would come from private sources.

The pre-K pilot program has received backing from early education advocates and an array of supporters — including Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney, the Treasure Valley Family YMCA and the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce.

If the bill is printed Monday, it would still need to be brought back to the committee for a full public hearing. Legislative leaders hope to adjourn the 2014 session on March 21, so it appears unlikely that the pre-K bill could navigate through both houses in the remaining weeks of the session.

Disclosure: Idaho Education News is a Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce member.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

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