INDIANAPOLIS – State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) has authored several bills for the upcoming legislative session. One of those bills is a change to the current prekindergarten pilot program, another is a bill addressing school financial condition analysis.

Prekindergarten pilot program eligibility

Prekindergarten education is an important step to child development and long-term academic success. Currently, children whose parents or guardians are not working, in job training, or in an education program are not qualified to be enrolled in one of these beneficial prekindergarten pilot programs. Senate Bill (SB) 29 proposes to eliminate that requirement, which would allow children living with retired relatives or parents who try but can’t find work access to education. Hoosier children should receive a high quality education regardless of their guardians’ economic status.

“Opening the doors to children whose parents or guardians are not currently employed or in school will help broaden the number of young students who can access this important pilot program and its beneficial impacts,” Sen. Melton said.

School financial condition analysis

Senator Melton served on the Distressed Unit Appeals Board until November 2017, where he has proven himself as a significant voice, considering his knowledge and experience of the education field. SB 368 will create a more proactive and collaborative system to enact state or independent resources when a school district shows indicators of financial complications. This proposal was offered to support the best interests of Indiana students and educators.

“It is my hope that this legislation will provide the technical assistance to school districts that may show signs of financial complications, which may include multiple factors such as; property tax collection, student population loss, and a myriad of other factors,” Sen. Melton said. “I firmly believe we should proactively assist school districts that seek the state’s help to get on the right track fiscally, instead of waiting until they are in an emergency situation. We want to make sure all school corporations are in good fiscal health to provide all Hoosier children with a quality education.”

Committee Assignments

Senator Melton will be serving the interests of his district as the Ranking Minority Member on the Civil Law Committee, the Education and Career Development Committee, and the Natural Resources Committee. Additionally, he will be serving on the following Senate committees: Agriculture, Homeland Security and Transportation, Insurance and Financial Institutions, Pensions and Labor, and Veterans Affairs and The Military.