School voucher bill advances in Indiana

Indiana is one step closer to having the nation’s most broad based school voucher program. The bill that passed the state House of Representatives, creates a new voucher program for low and middle income families. Under the terms of the bill, vouchers will be allotted on a sliding scale based on income.

The voucher program outlined in the bill is one of the broadest being proposed in the nation — allowing more middle income families to apply for school vouchers which are typically limited to low-income or special needs students. This bill would give families earning up to $60,000 per year the opportunity to apply for vouchers immediately along with eliminating the cap on voucher applications over the next three years.

The bill also adds to Indiana’s scholarship tax credit program by increasing the percentage of state tax credit and elevating the program cap by $10 million in each year after a year when the cap is reached, and by increasing family income eligibility.

Voucher advocates held a rally outside the statehouse in support of the measure. “We have the opportunity in Indiana today for this state to be leading the charge across the rest of the nation,” said Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools, and voucher advocate who was on hand for the vote.

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