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ISTA thanks senators for support in Senate education committee

ISTA would like to thank members of the Senate education committee for stopping a bill in committee that would expand Indiana’s private school voucher program, the nation’s largest.

SB 534 (Raatz, R – Richmond) would have set up a new special education voucher entitlement account, consisting of the very education funds that the school district would have received under the school funding formula attributable to serving that student. A hearing was held on the bill, but no vote was taken after Sen. Dennis Kruse (R – Auburn) announced that SB 534 would not be voted on in committee, effectively stopping the bill in the Senate.

Another bill heard in committee, SB 407 (Houchin, R – Salem), impacts a variety of issues including teacher evaluations, the Every Student Succeeds Act and unnecessary intervention in labor union representation matters. 

In committee, Sens. Luke Kenley (R – Noblesville), Eric Bassler (R – Washington), Frank Mrvan (D – Hammond), Mark Stoops (D – Bloomington) and Eddie Melton (D – Gary) voted against SB 407, which resulted in a 5 – 5 failure to pass.

At the time, Sen. Kruse stated, "The bill is defeated with a 5 – 5 vote, so the bill will not proceed out of this committee.”

As the committee meeting was ending, Sen. Kruse announced bills for the committee's next meeting, and did not indicate SB 407 would be on the agenda.

However, according to the committee schedule published Friday, it appears SB 407 will be reconsidered.

Please send an email thanking the five senators who originally voted against SB 407 by clicking their names, and urge them to vote against the bill should it come up again.

* This blog has been updated to reflect the change in status of SB 407.