Indiana Governor Mike Pence has signed into a law changes to the state’s ambitious voucher program that are expected to expand its reach to include even more students.
The hotly contested bill expands the voucher program to allow students in F-rated districts who meet income eligibility requirements without requiring those students to spend one year in the school system first. It also expands the program to students with special needs and siblings of students currently participating in the voucher program.
More than 9,000 students are currently participating in Indiana’s voucher program, which was launched in 2011. The average voucher value for each student is roughly $4,000, according to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.
Indiana’s original voucher law drew nationwide attention when it was signed into law two years ago by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, in part because it sought to set relatively loose eligibility rules that would allow some middle-income families to participate.
Gov. Pence, a Republican, signed the bill at Christian Calvary School—one of the private schools that receives students using taxpayer funds to attend non-public schools.
Indiana’s voucher expansion comes as another state’s far-reaching voucher program faces an uncertain future. On Tuesday, the Louisiana Supreme Court that found the funding mechanism for the state’s high-profile voucher program was unconstitutional.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.