Ind. Senate OKs Broadest School Voucher Program In U.S.

Proposal Moves To Indiana House

The Indiana Senate has approved a plan to create the nation's most expansive school voucher program.

The Republican-ruled Senate voted 28-22 Thursday to advance the bill, which is the most contentious part of GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels' extensive education agenda.

The bill allows parents to use some of the tax dollars that would normally be sent to public schools at private schools instead.

Families of four making up to about $60,000 a year would qualify. The program would be limited to a fraction of the state's students -- just 7,500 for the first year and 15,000 in the second.

Supporters said the program would give families more education options. Opponents said vouchers siphon money from public schools.

The bill now returns to the House to consider recent changes.

Students receiving vouchers make up less than 1 percent of enrollment nationwide, but vouchers have been one of the top priorities among conservatives.