House GOP, Pence, seek more vouchers, pre-K aid

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Republican leaders are building on the sweeping schools overhaul they approved in 2011 with proposals from House lawmakers and Gov. Mike Pence to expand the school voucher system and find private money to send children to pre-school.

Top Republicans are looking to expand the voucher program to children of military and foster families and remove a one-year wait time before students qualify. They also would provide a dollar-for-dollar match for private donations made to pre-school programs.

Republican House Education Chairman Robert Behning of Indianapolis said Thursday he built the proposal with requests from Pence and House Speaker Brian Bosma.

It's certain to encounter the same opposition mounted in 2011, including concerns from House Democrats that vouchers hurt public schools and warnings from Republican budget hawks.

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