INDIANAPOLIS An Indiana education agenda that launched the nation's broadest school voucher program was the product of a group of Republican powerbrokers who considered politics as much as policy in crafting the plan.
Emails obtained by The Associated Press show a team including former White House aide Al Hubbard and former schools Superintendent Tony Bennett's chief of staff met privately for months to lay out the education plan before enlisting state lawmakers or making it public. The resulting product elevated Bennett to national stardom.
Open government advocates say crafting the agenda privately leaves the public out of important discussions. But the practice is widely used from state capitols to Capitol Hill.
House Education Committee Chairman Robert Behning says Republicans had pushed many of the ideas long before Hubbard's group took action.