Tag Archives: Indiana Department of Education:

What is the Indiana voucher program?

26 Aug

School choice” which means according to the Education Breakthrough Network:

School Choice…What is it?

Well, not to be overly simplistic,  SCHOOL CHOICE is the act of choosing a school that meets the needs of your child.

Traditionally, families have been assigned to schools based on where they live. In fact, families with sufficient resources choose the neighborhoods they live in, in order to be assigned to a good school. That is actually a pretty active choice.

But school choice means actively choosing a school versus being assigned to one. And it doesn’t matter what kind of choice that is, they can include private schools, public charter schools, online schools, home schools, special needs schools or even preschools.

School choice advocates believe in the rights of parents to choose a school that meets their child’s needs, and in the rights of teachers and all educators to create, manage, and/or choose to be employed in those schools.

The Education Breakthrough Network exists to explain and advance effective school choice…from its simplest definition here to our very detailed database here.

Find out more about us.

Learn more about School Choice and how it is defined by the daily activities of those that do it! Read how these organizations support and define School Choice:

The Foundation For Educational Choice
The Center for Education Reform
The Heritage Foundation
The Alliance for School Choice


School Choice” ignites passions. People really go ballistic when vouchers are discussed. Moi wrote about vouchers in Given school choice, many students thrive https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/given-school-choice-many-students-thrive/

Moi thinks the Indiana experience will be useful and will provide useful information about what works in education. Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education:

Moi writes this blog around a set of principles which are:

All children have a right to a good basic education.

  1. Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved.

  2. Society should support and foster strong families.

  3. Society should promote the idea that parents are responsible for parenting their children and people who are not prepared to accept that responsibility should not be parenting children.

  4. The sexualization of the culture has had devastating effects on children, particularly young women. For many there has been the lure of the “booty call” rather than focusing on genuine achievement.

    Education is a life long pursuit

Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process.

The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.

Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.

Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.

Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.

Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.

Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach.https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ The Indiana voucher program is an attempt to give parents the tools to meet the needs of their child.

Mary McConnell of the Deseret News has posted a series of articles about education reform in Indiana. Her latest article is Indiana education voucher experiment: year two begins:

Since a big share of the voucher money is going to religious schools that don’t make a profit, this invocation of “private enterprise” is a little misleading. But I still find it curious that “private enterprise” is viewed as a pejorative. Private enterprise, after all, has brought us stunningly better and often less expensive products, and proved much more responsive to consumer demand.

Ah, consumer demand. That’s what really intrigues me about the article. Schools – public schools AND private schools hoping to attract voucher students – find that they need to reach out to their consumers, parents, and make a case that they’re providing an excellent education for their children.

Maybe TV ads and billboards will do the trick; as a parent and a teacher who has taught in Catholic schools that need to persuade parents of their value, I would bet on stronger results, better discipline, and a school culture that welcomes and fosters parent involvement. Can public schools offer that? Absolutely. Will it hurt for them to have to prove it to parents? Voucher opponents will say yes, but I’m betting that the biggest beneficiaries of competition will turn out to be public schools.

This posting could get very, very long, so let me instead direct readers to some interesting recent articles.

A Harvard study of New York City’s private voucher program – published this past Thursday – indicates that vouchers significantly improved the odds that African American students would attend college. This is an especially valuable study because it included a scientific control group (students who applied for but did not receive the vouchers, thereby holding constant for “involved parents”) and employed long-term data (1997-2011). Here’s a Wall Street Journal op-ed reporting the data:


And here’s a link to the study itself:


The American Enterprise Institute published a short piece responding to the AP article; it makes the argument for competition.


Here’s an article from last week’s Economist – which if anything proves that Indiana’s experiment is world news:


And finally, a useful warning note for voucher supporters. Many private schools in Indiana saw their test scores drop as they admitted voucher students. No huge surprise – if anything, it suggests that the private schools were, in fact, achieving higher educational standards (and probably educating a different demographic, as well.)


Utah voters decided that the state should not take this path, at least for now. But it will be interesting to see what happens in Indiana . . . and Louisiana. More on Louisiana next week.   http://educatingourselves.blogs.deseretnews.com/2012/08/25/indiana-education-voucher-experiment-year-two-begins/

Here is information from the Indiana Department of Education:

Choice Scholarships

Indiana is committed to providing all children access to quality educational opportunities, no matter where they live or how much money is in the family bank account. House Enrolled Act 1003 will play a key role in helping the Hoosier state accomplish this goal.Indiana’s new voucher program (authorized under IC 20-51-1 and IC 20-51-4) gives Hoosier families the opportunity to send their children to a school that best meets their learning needs. A voucher, or “Choice Scholarship,” is a state payment that qualifying families can use to offset tuition costs at participating schools. Students qualify based on total household income and the amount of the scholarship corresponds with the public school corporation in which the student lives.This exciting new program is up and running for the 2011-2012 school year. Schools and parents will work together to submit applications and enroll students. Participating schools and parents should explore the boxes below for more information.

Interested Parents General Info
How To Apply Estimated Scholarship Amounts
FAQ for Parents Household Income Limits
Preguntas Frequentes Padres Income Verification Rules
Approved Choice Schools Indiana School Scholarship Tax Credit
Interested Schools
Getting Started Application to Become an Eligible School
FAQ for Schools Program Deadlines
School Implementation
Data Reporting Data Layout for Choice Scholarship Input
Income Verification Visual Assessment Information
Reading Plan Emergency Rule
Recognized National and Regional Accreditation Agencies Student Record

Deduction for Private & Homeschool

Deduction Form


Schools must be relentless about the basics for their population of kids.   

What does it Mean to Be Relentless About the Basics:      

  1. Students acquire strong subject matter skills in reading, writing, and math.
  2. Students are assessed often to gauge where they are in acquiring basic skills.
  3. If there are deficiencies in acquiring skills, schools intervene as soon as a deficiency assessment is made.
  4. Schools intervene early in life challenges faced by students which prevent them from attending school and performing in school.
  5. Appropriate corrective assistance is provided by the school to overcome both academic and life challenges.   

The Indiana voucher program is a tool which allows parents the choice of what is best for their child.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©