Letter: School voucher programs benefit the wealthy


From: Kathleen Leason


Rep. Ryan Lauer, our state representative, co-sponsored and supported House Bill 1005 that expands private school tuition assistance.

The bill increases income eligibility to a family of four earning $145,000 annually in 2022. It’s worth noting that contributions to a tax-preferred account can also be used for a child’s private school education up to $10,000 per year, further benefiting high-income households.

One argument Rep. Lauer gives to justify his support of this bill is that it will expand school choice for more families.

I have to ask…how probable is this statement?

A quick survey of the private schools in Bartholomew County indicates there are roughly 1,500 elementary school students attending private schools. Most of these schools give enrollment priority to households who already have family members enrolled.

So, who will benefit from an expansion of the state subsidy? Will these schools undertake building projects to expand facilities to accommodate all students who wish to enroll? Probably not. It seems that this is purely a deeper subsidy to the families who already have students attending the school.

HB 1005 passed in the House last week and will move to the Senate for consideration next. Let’s hope our state senators will see this bill for what it truly is: a welfare program for the wealthy.

It’s interesting that Rep. Lauer began his political career as a Libertarian. Primary ideas in the Libertarian platforms are less government and minimal taxes. My, how he has drifted.