Funding alternatives being discussed for Mayor Ballard’s preschool program

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By: Liz Gelardi

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 10, 2014) - Time is running out to fund early childhood education the way Mayor Greg Ballard has suggested. The mayor proposed eliminating the homestead tax credit to fund preschool programs for low income families. Eliminating the credit continues to be a point of contention for city-county council.

Tuesday night the proposal faced another setback when a committee decided to push back a possible vote until next week. The council faces a September 22 deadline in order to eliminate the credit by 2015.

Mayor Greg Ballard continued his public campaign to gain support for his overall public safety plan, including expanded preschool programs. The mayor talked with business and community leaders during a meeting of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee.

Council Vice President John Barth is working on an alternative to the mayor's plan.

"If they have something else let us know," said Mayor Ballard.

A staffer for the Ballard administration said he is discussing preschool funding options with council members. For now details of any alternative plans are being kept under wraps.

"I'd say among council democrats there is broad support for the idea of a pre-k program. We just want to do it without raising property taxes so we think we can do both. We're just working and trying to fine tune it now," said

Barth will introduce his proposal on September 22.

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