Indiana House backs school voucher expansion

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A proposal to allow kindergartners and some other students to be immediately eligible for Indiana's private school voucher program has been approved by the Indiana House.

Representatives voted 57-36 largely along party lines Thursday to approve the Republican-backed bill. The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The bill makes several exemptions from the requirement included in the 2011 law that all students spend at least one year in public schools before becoming eligible for a voucher. It eliminates that requirement for siblings of current voucher students and for children in military and foster families and for children with special needs.

Democrats oppose the expansion and say the program hasn't been in place long enough to evaluate its effectiveness.

More than 9,000 students are receiving vouchers this school year.

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