April
22nd 2011
Hoosier School Reform Daddy?: Voucher Plan Advances, Bargaining Bill Signed

Posted under Governor & Innovation and Reform & Parents & PPC & Private Schools & School Board & School Choice & School Finance & State Legislature & Teachers

Just to be clear up front, I’m not necessarily implying any sort of superiority from the Hoosier State. Not at all. It’s far more about having a little Friday fun with puns. After all, it’s fun to revel in the news from the Foundation for Educational Choice:

The Indiana Senate today passed legislation that would create the nation’s broadest school voucher program, allowing low- and middle-income families to use taxpayer funds to send their children to the private school of their choice.

House Bill 1003, which was approved by the Senate in a 28-22 vote, would create a new scholarship program enabling families to send their children to the private school of their choice. Scholarship amounts are determined on a sliding scale based on income, with families receiving up to 90 percent of state support.

Having the full support of Governor Mitch Daniels and now having passed both houses, the voucher program is sure to become law in Indiana. But HB 1003 has to return to the House first to iron out details. The Foundation explains that the Senate added a “$1,000 tax deduction for private and homeschool expenses” available to all families regardless of income. If that piece survives the conference, then it’s an even bigger victory for parental choice and educational freedom.

The Indiana Senate’s approval of the broad school choice plan comes only one day after Gov. Daniels signed into law a measure that restricts school collective bargaining “to salary and wage-related benefits.” As the Education Action Group‘s Steve Gunn explained in a new email blast, union leaders in numerous Indiana school districts agreed to cost-saving concessions before the bill went into immediate effect:

A very good case study is the Taylor district, where next year’s projected budget deficit of roughly 1.5 million may have forced teacher layoffs and the loss of student programs.

But the local union, faced with the sunset of collective bargaining, suddenly accepted a 2.5 percent salary cut for 2011-12, a salary freeze for the following year, and a suspension of automatic step raises for teachers.

Arizona and Florida are two states that have been pushing hard for the mantle of 2011 education reform leader. Say what you will, Indiana is making its own case to win this year’s crown.

3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Hoosier School Reform Daddy?: Voucher Plan Advances, Bargaining Bill Signed”

  1. GoBash.org » Blog Archive » Indiana Legislature Makes GOOD Choice to Adopt “Nation’s Most Expansive Voucher Law” on 27 Apr 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    [...] and won approval from the House in a 55-43 vote today, confirming little Eddie’s hopes of “an even bigger victory for parental choice and educational freedom.” It represents just one more part of major legislation that more greatly empowers low- and [...]

  2. Ed is Watching » Education Action Group’s Top 10 Indiana Reforms List No Laughing Matter on 13 May 2011 at 11:52 am #

    [...] follow this blog at all, you know right off the top what some of the biggies are — including limiting the topics open for teachers union collective bargaining and “the nation’s largest voucher program”. Also known as #1 and #3 on [...]

  3. Peoples Press Collective | Colorado Politics | Education Action Group’s Top 10 Indiana Reforms List No Laughing Matter : on 13 May 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    [...] follow this blog at all, you know right off the top what some of the biggies are — including limiting the topics open for teachers union collective bargaining and “the nation’s largest voucher program”. Also known as #1 and #3 on [...]

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