Indiana Senate OKs bill giving voucher schools appeal option

"Back to School" by Phil Roeder, some rights reserved

INDIANAPOLIS (AP): Indiana state senators have endorsed an education bill knocked by critics as easing accountability standards for the state’s private schools that accept vouchers.

The bill by Republican Rep. Robert Behning of Indianapolis creates a way for private schools to immediately begin accepting vouchers and allows the state Board of Education to grant poorly performing schools a delay in consequences.

Under current law, if a private school receives a “D” or “F” state rating for two consecutive years, it can’t accept new voucher students until its rating improves. The state board could delay that consequence for one year under the bill if a school shows a majority of students improved academically.

Supporters say public and charter schools can already make such appeals.

The Senate voted 36-12 to support the changes Tuesday.

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