Fiscal tug-of-war stalls Indiana voucher expansion

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 11, 2013 17:21 hrs

Indiana Republicans leading a push to expand the nation's broadest school voucher program have a green light from the state's highest court to move forward. But concerns that an expansion would bust the budget are causing jitters among conservative lawmakers schooled in the fiscal prudence of former Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in March that the voucher program doesn't violate a state constitutional provision barring public funding for religious programs. That encouraged supporters who would like to see the program made available to more students.

The Senate's lead budget writer estimates the plan could cost the state $360 million. Republican Sen. Luke Kenley says lawmakers need to restore money cut from education under Daniels first.

Gov. Mike Pence says families need more choices to avoid failing schools.

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