Gov. Mike Pence says the 2015 legislative session should center on education. And he wants expanding the state’s charter school and voucher programs to be a part of that.
The amount of money that families – and thus private schools – get from the state’s voucher program is $4,800 per student, which is less than the amount public schools get for their students.
Pence’s proposal would eliminate that cap entirely. He says he also wants to increase funding for charter schools.
“Together I believe these proposals and these actions will make more choices available for our parents, will make charters more available in more communities across our state,” Pence said.
Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, says a complicating factor in trying to increase the voucher amount will be changes to the program made in recent years, which increased the number of students eligible for vouchers.
“In the beginning, it was a question of state kids moving from public school to private schools and in a sense we were sort of saving money that we had already allocated,” Kenley said. “But now that equation has changed, so it becomes a cost issue.”
Kenley says he doesn’t want to take a position on the feasibility of Pence’s proposals at least until a new revenue forecast is released later this month.