Bill could broaden full scholarships for students who don’t attend public schools

(Photo supplied/Michigan News Service)

Some Hoosier families make too much to get the full scholarship offered by the state that helps some kids go to private schools. A bill that has passed in the House Education Committee, would make Hoosier families who qualify eligible for the full scholarship.

That scholarship pays up to 90 percent of the tuition. But, as the law stands now, some families who still qualify, but make above a certain amount of money per year, may get as little as 50 percent of the tuition paid.

“A child’s success should not be dictated by their family’s income,” said state Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis).

“When we started looking at the current eligibility requirements, we found a lot of hardworking families still could not send their child to the school of their choice. For example, a student whose parents are a bus driver and an auto mechanic, each making under $35,000, would not qualify for a scholarship.”

Behning’s bill would also establish the Indiana Education Scholarship Account, which would provide eligible families funding to directly pay for tuition or education-related expenses at an Indiana school.

The bill (HB 1005), would also give parents direct control of the money.

Under current law, education funding and payments are disbursed to schools by the state on behalf of families, and his legislation would put qualifying families in control of these funds, which would be monitored by the state treasurer’s office. Eligible students would include those with disabilities, those with parents serving in the military and those in foster care.

The next step for the bill to be considered in the Ways and Means Committee.

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