(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana House Republicans are easing off plans to expand the state’s private school voucher program.
A House committee amended the bill on Monday to allow kindergarteners and some other students to be immediately eligible for vouchers if their families meet income limits, the Associated Press reports.
The committee voted to nix a provision that would have done away with a requirement that students first attend a year of public school before being eligible for vouchers. Lawmakers had concerns about the cost of allowing students already not in public school to enter immediately into the program.
The voucher bill passed committee on a 14-7 vote along party lines and now heads to the full House.
In their two-year state budget proposal, House Republicans included an increase in funding for the Indiana Choice Scholarship program from $37 million in 2013 to $63 million in 2015.
The program is already the largest voucher system in the U.S. and growing. Projections show enrollment in the program increasing from 9,100 this year to 15,000 in the 2014-15 school year.
The Indiana Choice Scholarship program's constitutionality is currently being challenged before the Indiana Supreme Court.