Pence signs bill to expand school voucher program

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Governor Mike Pence signed a bill into law Thursday that will expand Indiana's school voucher system.

Siblings of students who now receive vouchers and students who live in a district with a failing public school will now be able to get a voucher without first going to a public school. There is also a higher income threshold for voucher families that means some middle class students will qualify.

The governor signed the bill in a ceremony at Calvary Christian Academy on the south side. Hundreds of children from seven private schools were on hand. 

Calvary Christian currently has 55 students who receive vouchers and Principal Charles Barcus says the new legislation means there will be more voucher students there next year.

"I can see probably 75 or so," said Barcus. "It could be more but again we're trying to grow in a controlled manner."

"It's the right thing to insure that our children are not required to attend schools that don't work for them," said Pence, "because their parents don't have the financial means to relocate or send them to a different school."

Pence also signed a bill that permits teachers to purchase liability insurance through the state. That eliminates the need to get it though the teachers union.

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