Changes For Voucher Expansion Legislation In Senate
The Senate Education Committee Wednesday curtailed legislation expanding the state’s school voucher program. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, the bill no longer eliminates the requirement that a student spend at least one year in public school before receiving a voucher:
The bill passed by the Senate Education Committee now requires a student to attend kindergarten in a public school before receiving a voucher…unless the public school a student would attend received a failing grade from the state. In that case the child can receive the voucher without going to public school first. Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley says voucher expansion, prior to his amendment, would have increased the cost of the voucher program by nearly eight million dollars every year. He says the change will help rein in that cost. House Education Committee Chair Bob Behning, the bill’s author, says while some positive aspects of the bill remain, there are issues that need to be worked out:
“A lot of the language that he deleted was the governor’s language so we’ll have to see where the governor is and how passionate he is and whether he can convince people that his will should prevail.”
Behning says he can’t say whether the bill will have to go to conference committee if it passes the Senate to work out differences between the two houses. For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Brandon Smith.