(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana’s school voucher program – already the largest in the nation with 9,100 participating children this year – could be expanded.
Currently, students are required to attend a year of public school before they can use the publicly-funded voucher to attend a private school. However, legislation filed at the statehouse this week by State Senator Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury) would eliminate that requirement for siblings of students who are already in the voucher program.
“We’re always trying to find ways to get parents involved in their schools,” Yoder said, according to the Associated Press, “and this bill will give families the ability to keep families in the same school.”
The proposal is currently being considered by the Senate Education and Career Development Committee, where it received a hearing but no vote Wednesday.
Fellow Republican and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Luke Kenley questioned the proposed voucher expansion. According to the AP, Kenley said when legislators approved the law two years ago, the agreement was that all students would first give public schools a try.
There is the possibility that the entire voucher program could be stopped in its tracks. The Indiana Supreme Court is considering a challenge from a group of educators backed by the Indiana State Teachers Association that the law violates the state constitution. The plaintiffs claim the voucher law is funneling money to religious organizations because nearly all the participating private schools are religious-based.