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New school choice expansions provide opportunities for more Hoosier families

June 30th 2021

Indiana’s Choice Scholarship program has impacted about 273,000 kids during the past 10 years of its existence. There are numerous stories we’ve heard about lives being changed and futures being impacted by the program in the past. (Like this story or this one.) K-12 education, both public and private, in Indiana saw transformational increases coming out of the 2021 legislative session, but it’s Hoosier families that are the true beneficiaries. The school choice expansions include:

  • A single 90% voucher tier which goes into effect this upcoming school year (2021-2022).
  • An increase in voucher financial eligibility to 300% of free and reduced lunch that goes into effect this upcoming school year.
  • An increase in the financial eligibility for the tax credit scholarship program to 300% of free and reduced lunch for this upcoming school year.
  • An increase in the tax credit cap to $17.5 million this year and $18.5 million in year two of the budget.
  • The establishment of an Education Scholarship Account program (ESA) for students with special needs with the same financial eligibility as the voucher. This program would open in the 2022-2023 school year.

The income level changes (listed in the chart below) went into effect July 1, 2021.

Families have until September 1, 2021 to apply for a Choice Scholarship for this school year, so we’re asking schools to make sure inquiring parents can access admission information and application processes over the summer months when office hours may be limited. As we work on implementation of the new choice expansions, we wanted to loop you in on our efforts. Together with our partners at the Institute for Quality Education (IQE), we have been focused in two areas: educating schools on the changes and getting the word out to families impacted by the expansions. Here are a few resources that might be helpful:

  • Choice Scholarship program one pager (click here)
  • IQE is conducting parent information sessions at schools and churches around the state. Contact Sarah Milligan at sarah@myschooloptions.org if you’d like to host or attend one of these.
  • Promoting myschooloptions.org website and app for interested parents to find a school near them.
  • Infographic on how families can pay for private school education

These programs are available to more families in Indiana than ever before. More parents are now able to choose the best educational option for their children, no matter their income or zip code. As we continue to rollout these expansions, we’re asking for you to help spread the word! We’re always here to answer questions or help in any way we can. Just email John at jelcesser@inpea.org.