|State or the State Report|
Governor Pence has used his State of the State address to throw his weight behind efforts to help low-income students attend preschool. Pence left open the specifics of a state preschool effort. But he proclaimed his support for the school choice program enacted in 2011, and says making it possible for more pupils to attend preschool is the logical next step in that effort. The governor spent the bulk of his address making the case for his budget, including a 10-percent tax cut. He says he‘s shown the state can afford it while still funding its priorities. Leaders in both parties generally praised the address, though Democrats took issue with Pence‘s call to expand the school voucher program, by eliminating a requirement that students spend at least one year in a public school first. And House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) say they still need to be convinced that the tax cut is not only affordable, but the best policy approach to stimulating the economy. Both parties say they want to see more than the one-percent increase in school funding Pence proposed. But both parties embrace his call to expand vocational education.