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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

politics education

Bill to expand voucher program moves to Pence’s desk

A bill that would expand the existing voucher program, and become the nation’s largest voucher expansion, is moving to the desk of Gov. Mike Pence to be signed into law.

Indiana House Bill 1003 received a 55-44 vote in the House following with 27-23 in the Senate at Friday’s legislative session.

HB 1003 has been met with much contestation, not receiving the approval of Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz. A rally was also organized at the Statehouse in March to express opposition to HB 1003, with various educators and legislators speaking out against expansion of the program.

According to the bill, HB 1003 “specifies eligibility standards for choice scholarships and makes various administrative changes to the choice scholarship program.”

The new bill allows students to be eligible to receive vouchers if they have a sibling who received a scholarship of at least $1,000 in the past. A child can receive money if they have special education needs and are enrolled in an individualized education program.

Students who live within the district of certain low-performing schools can also receive vouchers. Students who meet this requirement are not required to attend the public school before receiving the scholarship. In each of the instances, the families must meet certain income requirements.

The bill is authored by Rep. Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, and Rep. Todd Huston, R-Fishers, and sponsored in the Senate by Senators Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, and Doug Eckerty, R-Yorktown.

— Sydney Murray

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