At United Way, we constantly strive to better the conditions of our community and truly improve the lives of Central Indiana residents. This year, continuing with the “New U” strategy, we remain focused on four key areas of community impact – Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs – and our public policy work remains fiercely committed to our bold goals within each of those priority areas.
In this brochure, we have outlined these community goals and the specific public policy agenda items for 2016 that will help us achieve them and, in turn, help all Hoosiers on their path to self-sufficiency.
This year, we are focusing a great deal of our attention on the state of early childhood education in Indiana, specifically the programs that provide high-quality early learning opportunities for children in low-income families. Previously, in partnership with the City of Indianapolis, United Way successfully led the process to secure funding for Marion County families to participate in the On My Way Pre-K pilot program.
At the same time, United Way convened community leaders to create the Indianapolis Preschool Scholarship Program (IPSP), a five-year, $50 million investment providing pre-K scholarships to Marion County families at 127% or below the federal poverty line in high-need areas. To achieve our goal, United Way is seeking the support of individual and foundation partnerships to raise the remaining $4.6 million necessary for program success.
We are also lobbying for the State of Indiana to establish an additional level on the Paths to QUALITY™ rating system that recognizes the use of early education systems that have proven positive results on kindergarten readiness. To ensure that child care providers would provide high-quality service and care, only those who rate at the highest Paths to QUALITY levels would be eligible to accept IPSP scholarships.
In 2016, United Way of Central Indiana is asking Indiana policymakers to invest in equality and opportunity for all Hoosiers. We’re fighting to ensure that all families are able to thrive in Indiana’s economy by enacting legislation to include LGBT residents in statutes prohibiting discrimination on issues related to employment, housing and public accommodations. And, we are supporting the effort to expand, update and modify public mass transportation in Marion and Hamilton counties, offering increased mobility and agency to all individuals.
We know that with your help, we can continue to create meaningful and lasting change in Central Indiana. Thank you!