INDIANAPOLIS—Supporters of Indiana's charter schools and private school vouchers packed a Statehouse corridor with hundreds of children from those schools for a rally Monday as they backed expansion of those programs.
Republican Gov. Mike Pence and the GOP House and Senate leaders all told the crowd of perhaps a couple of thousand children and adults that the charter school and voucher programs had helped spur greater competition for improvement in the state's education system.
The "Ed Reform Rocks" rally happened as the legislature is considering a proposal to expand Indiana's 2-year-old voucher system that already is the nation's largest. A bill already approved by the Indiana House this year would allow kindergartners and some other children to be eligible without first spending a year in public schools.
Pence called the rally a "celebration" of Indiana's "school choice" initiatives that now have some 30,000 students in charter schools and about 9,000 students receiving vouchers.