Speaker Brian Bosma announced the House Republicans’ top legislative priorities today for the 2014 session.
Among the list of his caucus’ top goals is to expand Indiana’s already broadest in the nation voucher program. Indiana already has more than 20,000 students using tax dollars to go to private, mostly religious, K-12 schools.
The proposed preschool voucher program (found in HB1004; Rep. Behning-R) would allow those deemed “low income” to obtain a voucher to attend a preschool program.
Low income in this instance are those earning at 185% of the poverty level. For some context, 185% of the poverty level translates to $43,568 for a family of four, just a tick below Indiana’s actual median income which tracks at $48,347.
The vouchers could be used for a preschool program with as yet unidentified academic standards, so long as the program is accredited by the State Board of Education. As a reminder, all members of the state board (other than Superintendent Glenda Ritz) are appointed by Governor Pence who has already said that the preschool voucher program is one of his top legislative “roadmap” goals.