Vote near on Indiana budget with schools boost

(photo supplied / Indiana Statehouse)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana public school and teachers groups are cheering the education funding increase included in the new state budget plan that’s poised for final approval from lawmakers on Thursday to complete this year’s regular legislative session.

Support comes from those groups even as the Republican-dominated Legislature is set to endorse a contentious expansion of the state’s private school voucher program. The state budget agreement will boost overall school funding by about 4.5% each of the next two years.

That deal, however, leaves out a push to follow the federal government’s lead of excluding some unemployment benefits from income taxes.