[r91] School Scholarship bill passes House (3/30/2011)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Start Date: 3/30/2011 All Day
End Date: 3/30/2011

STATEHOUSE - Rep. Bob Behning (R- Indianapolis) authored House bill 1003, which allows families, who do not have financial means, a scholarship to pay the cost of tuition and fees at a public or private schools that charges tuition. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) is the co-author of the bill.

"All students, no matter where they live, should have the option of obtaining a great educational experience that best suits their needs," said Rep. Behning. "This bill is a substantial component to allowing children the best possible educational opportunity that they can possibly have."

HB 1003 sat for weeks on the House calendar, untouched. Once the Democrats returned to the Statehouse, the bill picked up instant action. Amendments were filed and taken into consideration. Rep. Behning supported the bill throughout and spoke of its vast benefits to improving the educational system. HB 1003 passed out of the House on Wed.

"We need an educational system that will work for all students and one that all students can utilize," said Rep. Behning. "With the passage of this bill, we are one step closer to allowing students more access to quality choices."

The bill creates School Choice Scholarships for lower and middle income families to attend a quality school of their choice, either a public or private school, while focusing eligibility on lower income families.

Eligible schools must be accredited by the Indiana State Board of Education or a national or regional accreditation agency recognized by the state board and must fall under the state's accountability standards and administer the statewide ISTEP test. An eligible school must also hold a public hearing and conduct a random drawing, if it has more choice scholarship applicants than available seats.

"I am glad this bill finally received its passage through the House and I am looking forward to seeing it move through the Senate and start providing educational choices for our Hoosier youth," said Rep. Behning.