updated: 6/28/2013 1:02:10 PM

Expanded School Voucher Law to Take Effect

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The state's expanded school voucher law goes into effect Monday. The legislation also expands a tax credit scholarship program and maintains a tax deduction for children that are home-schooled or already enrolled in a private school.

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June 28, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, June 28, 2013 –Hoosier families will enjoy more educational options than ever before when the Indiana School Voucher Improvement Bill (HEA 1003) takes full effect on July 1. Signed into law by Gov. Pence on May 9, HEA 1003 broadens eligibility for the popular school voucher program, expands Indiana’s tax credit scholarship program and continues a tax deduction for families with children homeschooled or already enrolled in private school.

“We applaud Gov. Pence and the Indiana General Assembly for giving more parents across the state the tools they need to make the best educational choices for their children,” said School Choice Indiana President Betsy Wiley. “While most students are well served by their public school, we can’t deny that some families require a different option in order to best meet the educational needs of their child. HEA 1003 is a step in the right direction and we hope more families will take advantage of new opportunities that are available to them.”

One key element of the School Voucher Improvement Bill extends eligibility to the siblings of students who are already benefiting from vouchers. Another provision allows students residing in an “F” rated school zone (as determined by the State) to benefit from the voucher program. For more specific eligibility requirements or to find out if your family qualifies, visit School Choice Indiana’s website.

This summer, School Choice Indiana is hosting information sessions across the state where parents can learn more about voucher eligibility requirements, the application process and which schools are participating in the program. The sessions also cover other topics such as the scholarship tax credit program, charter schools and other forms of school choice. School Choice Indiana representatives will host sessions in the following cities throughout July:

• July 9 – Avon
• July 10 – Bedford and Muncie
• July 11– Indianapolis
• July 15 – Decatur and Salem
• July 16 –Anderson and Fort Wayne
• July 17 – Clarksville
• July 18 – Evansville and South Bend
• July 22 – Winona Lake
• July 23 – Brownsburg
• July 24 – Michigan City and New Albany
• July 25 – Tipton

More information on these parent information sessions – and on expanded school choice options overall – can be found at the School Choice Indiana website or Facebook page.

“We are asking educators, civic leaders, community groups and others to join us in our effort to make more Hoosiers aware of the school options that are available to them,” said Wiley. “Indiana is the national leader in education reform and improvement, and if we work together with the tools that we have, we can ensure that more students across our great state receive a high-quality education that meets their particular learning needs.”

More than 9,000 students took part in the voucher program across Indiana during the 2012-13 school year, with 289 schools participating. For the 2013-14 school year, more than 456 schools have committed to participating in the voucher program.

When parents receive a voucher, the state helps pay for an eligible student to attend a private school. Students qualifying for the federal free-and-reduced lunch program ($43,568 for a family of four) are eligible for a voucher worth up to 90 percent of the state tuition amount (capped at $4,700 for grades K-8) for the school district of residence. Children from families who earn up to 150 percent of the free-and-reduced lunch eligibility (around $65,352 for a family of four) can receive a scholarship for up to 50 percent of the state tuition amount.

About School Choice Indiana: School Choice Indiana, Inc. is a non-partisan, statewide organization dedicated to the principle that providing parents with real choices in the education of their children will improve educational outcomes and improve the quality of education, both in private and public schools. More information is available at www.schoolchoiceindiana.com.

Source: School Choice Indiana

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