The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

December 5, 2013

Pence seeks pre-K vouchers, road money in 2nd year

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's school voucher program, already the broadest in the nation, would be expanded to preschool-aged children under a plan Gov. Mike Pence announced Thursday as part of his 2014 agenda.

Pence delivered more specifics about a second-year agenda focused on education and economic items. It is more ambitious than what he offered shortly after taking office earlier this year but still shows a measure of caution.

The governor will ask lawmakers to eliminate the personal property tax, find $400 million for road construction, expand access to charter schools, alter how teachers are paid and improve business regulations as part of an attempt to draw more companies to Indiana. But the proposal to expand the state's voucher program could require the most work.

"I just wanted Hoosiers to know I've been spending time travelling the state of Indiana. I've visited a broad range of early learning programs and I just think the time has come for Indiana to provide an opportunity for disadvantaged children to have access to pre-kindergarten programs," Pence said.

The preschool vouchers would be offered to families earning up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level, but Pence said further details will be released later. The plan sounds similar to what House Education Chairman Bob Behning, R-Indianapolis, offered last year and has said he will introduce again this session.

Democrats and Republicans alike have supported expanded access to preschool across the state, but Democrats have called for the creation of public preschools instead of vouchers. Democrats are vastly outnumbered in both the House and Senate, but Republican budget leaders have questioned the price tag on expanding school vouchers before.

Pence is also proposing a series of measures which would benefit the state's charter school operators. One measure would make it easier for charters to obtain vacant public school buildings, another would shorten the timeline for "F'' public schools to be taken over by charter operators and a third item would subsidize teachers who move to charter schools serving low-income students.

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, said the governor's 2014 agenda largely ignores the strain on the state's middle class and pushes measures which would benefit only a small swath of the population.

"Once again, the improvements in our state's educational system are weighted toward vouchers and charter schools available only to a select few. Our traditional public classrooms are forgotten," Pelath said in a statement.

A handful of Pence's proposals are similar to items his education staffers discussed in an internal memo released by Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz released Wednesday. The "2013 Education Policy Document" developed by staffers for Pence's Center for Education and Career Innovation discusses ways to expand access to charter schools, subsidize teachers who leave public schools to teach at charter schools and possibly shift how federal dollars are used for preschool programs.

Ritz pointed to an item in the memo that discusses ways to strip her control over the State Board of Education as evidence of an attempted power grab. But Pence said Thursday he would not pursue any legislation to curb her powers. House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, also said Thursday he would block any legislation stripping her powers.

Pence had mixed success during his first dance with the General Assembly earlier this year. Republican leaders, including Bosma, balked at his proposed income tax cut before delivering him a portion of the cut he sought along with tax cuts they preferred.

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • rozelle fire.jpg Firefighters extinguish blaze at Anderson funeral home

    Firefighters have extinguished a blaze this morning at Rozelle-Johnson Funeral Home at Indiana 32 and Rangeline Road.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teams test out a new helmet, but does it work?

    Arkansas coach Bret Bielema proudly posted a message on Twitter last spring that featured the Razorbacks' new helmets — a futuristic design by Riddell called the SpeedFlex that is supposed to be the latest in head protection.

    August 22, 2014

  • Airline group forecasts uptick in Labor Day travel

    A trade group for the nation's big airlines predicts that air travel over the Labor Day weekend will rise 2 percent from the same holiday last year.

    August 22, 2014

  • Some US colleges calling students back from Israel

    Some U.S. colleges are pulling students from overseas study programs in Israel as the Gaza war rages, though the relative calm beyond the immediate battle areas is raising questions in some quarters about why they had to leave.

    August 21, 2014

  • Instant noodles: Friend or foe?

    Kim Min-koo has an easy reply to new American research that hits South Korea where it hurts — in the noodles. "There's no way any study is going to stop me from eating this," says Kim.

    August 21, 2014

  • Ohio diocese discourages ALS ice bucket challenge

    A Roman Catholic diocese in Ohio is discouraging its 113 schools from participating in the ice bucket challenge to benefit the ALS Association, saying the group's funding of embryonic stem cell research is "in direct conflict with Catholic teaching."

    August 21, 2014

  • Charter school to close after cheating revealed

    One of Indianapolis' oldest charter schools will close next month, after an investigation uncovered widespread cheating on its students' state standardized tests in 2013 and 2014.

    August 21, 2014

  • Severe thunderstorm watch until midnight

    The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for portions of central Indiana, including Madison County.

    August 21, 2014

  • US judge strikes down Florida gay marriage ban

    A federal judge on Thursday declared Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, joining judges across the country who have sided with gay couples wishing to tie the knot.

    August 21, 2014

  • Man pleads guilty in fatal Purdue campus attack

    An Indiana man pleaded guilty Thursday to murder in the fatal shooting and stabbing of a fellow Purdue University student in January.

    August 21, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Marathon Suspect's Friend Pleads Guilty Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Generally speaking, how good are relations among people of different races in the Anderson area?

Very good
Good
OK
Bad
Very bad
     View Results