Pre-K pilot bill will make an appearance Monday

pre-K presser
Preschoolers and pre-K advocates turned out at the Capitol in January 2014 to show their support for a pilot bill.

As the House Education Committee continues to churn out career ladder draft bills, the committee will take a first look at a pre-kindergarten bill Monday.

The Monday morning agenda includes a draft bill to create a “kindergarten preparedness pilot program.” The bill hasn’t been made public — draft bills are not public documents until they are “printed” or introduced by a legislative committee. But the bill will be sponsored by two Republicans, Reps. Patrick McDonald of Boise and Christy Perry of Nampa.

Rep. Hy Kloc, a Boise Democrat and leading proponent of a pre-K pilot, has been working with McDonald and Perry on the issue.

The idea behind a pre-K pilot is to voluntarily test programs in a handful of Idaho schools — and then assess whether pre-K better prepares children for kindergarten. Kloc has talked about a pilot program funded by state and private dollars.

House Education introduced a Kloc pre-K bill late in the 2014 session, but the bill went no farther. And as the 2015 legislative session heads into what appears to be its final couple of weeks, the odds of passing a pilot bill would again appear grim.


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