Indiana lawmakers OK broadest voucher plan in US

“I’m sure he’s not worried about a presidential run,” Bosma said.

Opponents say Daniels’ agenda will hurt public schools by taking money and students away. The voucher proposal was a key reason behind a five-week boycott earlier this session by House Democrats, who returned to the state after winning concessions on the voucher bill and other legislation.

“He says that his motivation is to improve student achievement, but so many of these reform measures are not aimed at improving student achievement,” said Nate Schnellenberger, president of the state’s largest teachers union. “He wouldn’t be siphoning public money from public schools if he was concerned about those students who remain at public schools.”

Lawmakers have also approved other parts of the governor’s agenda, including his proposal aimed at expanding charter schools, merit pay for teachers and restrictions on teacher collective bargaining. Daniels has already signed the restrictions on collective bargaining into law and is expected to sign the other education bills in coming days.

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