An education bill in the Indiana House would expand what parents can do with state-allocated school money.
Right now, parents can use cash that would normally go to a public school for their child’s enrollment and spend it on private school tuition.
Rep. Tim Brown’s (R-Crawfordsville) bill would set up so-called “education savings accounts” to use for textbooks, private tutoring, college tuition savings and home-schooling.
Brown says parents get to choose how the money is spent and the state stays true to the philosophy of “the money follows the child.”
“They would decide what is the best for their child in an individualized education plan for that child,” Brown says.
The bill would extend to families making up to $97,000 a year, who could then receive money from the state to send their kids to private or charter schools.
That money is taken from the amount each public school currently gets when a child enrolls.
Indiana Coalition for Public Education representative Vic Smith says his group opposed vouchers from the beginning – and expanding them has a huge downside.
“Every time someone diverts the money, it hurts all the kids who are left in those public schools,” Smith says.
The bill must move ahead by the end of the week to be considered this session.