These 15 Indiana counties can now join the state’s effort to pay for preschool for poor 4-year-olds

Indiana today announced the 15 additional counties that will be able to use state grants allowing low-income 4-year-olds to attend preschool.

The counties were added to the program earlier this year when the Indiana General Assembly voted to nearly double state funding, up to $22 million per year. Now, 20 counties total will be able to take part in the state’s preschool program.

The new counties are Bartholomew, DeKalb, Delaware, Elkhart, Floyd, Grant, Harrison, Howard, Kosciusko, Madison, Marshall, Monroe, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe and Vigo.

Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties will continue to participate. Their programs began in 2015 when the state first voted to fund preschool.

According to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office, preschools in the additional 15 counties can begin enrolling students in the state program in fall 2018, though limited enrollment could begin as early as January 2018.

Counties were chosen based on how many students would be eligible and whether the county was considered rural or urban, among other factors. The law instructed the state to prioritize rural counties.

Read more about how lawmakers expanded the state preschool program here, and see the rest of their education policy decisions this year here.