Downtown Boise

State lawmaker pushes for pilot program to fund several preschools

State lawmaker pushes for pilot program to fund several preschools

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - A state lawmaker is pushing legislation that would provide state funding for a three-year pilot program at five Idaho preschools.

Rep. Hy Kloc of Boise said he wants more children to start school earlier. He added other states are seeing the benefits of paying for Pre-K programs.

"Delinquency goes down, crime rates go down, incarceration goes down, dependency on welfare goes down, teen pregnancy goes down," he said. "All of the things that make up the social fabric are also affected by, believe it or not, if you get the kids early enough."
 
Kloc said the proposal would cost the state $600,000 over three years. Businesses and other sources would chip in $750,000 over the same period.
 
The five preschools have not been chosen, but the money would mean students could attend without paying anything out-of-pocket, according to Kloc.
 
The lawmaker plans to submit the bill to the House Education Committee on Monday.
 
Beth Oppenheimer, executive director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, said Idaho is one of ten states that provide no funding for preschool programs.