Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Proposal To Expand Voucher Eligibility Passes House Education Committee

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

Students work on research papers in ninth grade English at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis.

The House Education Committee voted in favor of a proposal to increase the number of students eligible to receive state vouchers to attend private school.

Currently, students must spend a year post-kindergarten in public school and have an income of less than $64,000 for a family of four to receive a voucher.

HB 1003 also increases the maximum voucher amount for students in kindergarten through eighth grade from $4,500 to 6,500 over the next two years.

Rep. Kreg Battles, D-Vincennes, who voted against the bill, says he’s concerned private schools will increase their tuition if more voucher money is available.

“It’s wasteful spending to let someone charge us a fee just because we’re willing to pay it,” says Battles, who also voted against a proposal to create a preschool pilot because students in the program would qualify automatically for the state’s voucher program.

But Chairman Robert Behning called the current $4,500 maximum at the lower grades “an artificial cap.” He pointed out that vouchers are already capped at 90 percent of the local school district’s per-pupil funding amount. (The only Indiana schools that receive less than $4,500 from the state per student are charter schools.)

Here’s who else would be available to receive a Choice Scholarship from the state under the proposed voucher changes:

  • Foster children;
  • Disabled children who require special education;
  • Siblings of current voucher recipients;
  • Children of active duty military or honorably discharged veterans;
  • Current private school students who would otherwise qualify for a voucher;
  • Students with a family income (for four) up to $127,000, provided they met income eligibility requirements when they first qualified for the voucher.

Earlier, the Senate Education Committee considered a bill that would allow siblings of current Choice Scholarship recipients to qualify for a voucher without first attending public school. But Chairman Dennis Kruse says he plans to hold that proposal for the more expansive House version.

Comments

  • cgosling

    Say goodbye to public education. Every taxpayer dollar that goes to private education means a dollar less goes to public education. Private education money mostly supports religious schools which teach, guess what. Congratulations to those who voted for Republican candidates.

  • inteach

    Republican to-do list:

    1. Create an education crisis in the public’s mind.

    2. Call for bold reform efforts since kids are at stake.

    3. Create coalitions of business/private school advocates.

    4. Seek out powerful, well-funded organizations to bolster cause.

    5. Organize an effective campaign that relentlessly disparages public schools.

    6. Portray opponents as defenders of the status quo.

    7. Install “reformers” into key public posts.

    8. Minimize opponents strength through legislation.

    9. De-fund public schools incrementally.

    10. Install market-based system funded by vouchers.

    11. Shift school management to profit-driven entities.

    12. Claim success of bold reform efforts.

    By all measures, a brilliant and highly effective plan!

    And they are getting closer to their ultimate goal every day.

    • Rudyard

      inteach•2 months ago

      Democratic to-do list:

      1. Create an education crisis in the public’s mind.

      2. Call for bold reform efforts since kids are at stake.

      3. Increase taxes on the living.

      4. Seek out powerful, well-funded organizations to bolster cause (ie. teachers unions).

      5. Organize an effective campaign that relentlessly praises the failed public school system.

      6. Portray opponents as defenders of the status quo.

      7. Install “reformers” into key public posts.

      8. Minimize opponents strength through legislation.

      9. Over fund public schools incrementally.

      10. Install more taxes .

      11. Shift school management to idiotic self described educators.

      12. Claim success of bold reform efforts.

      By all measures, a brilliant and highly effective plan!

      And they are getting closer to their ultimate goal every day.

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