Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nearly 4,000 Enroll In Indiana's First-Year Voucher Program

There's great news out of Indiana today: Nearly 4,000 were approved to participate in Indiana's Choice Scholarship Program, despite a truncated application window and this being the first year the program was offered.

We teamed up with a host of our allied organizations to tout the great numbers. Here's what we had to say:
“It’s terrific to see that so many families have taken advantage of this exciting new opportunity,” said Lindsey Brown, Executive Director of School Choice Indiana. “Students are already benefiting from this important program and the stories that we’ve heard from parents and principals have been very encouraging.” 
Nearly 85 percent, or 3,326, of voucher recipients are on the free and reduced lunch program. Fifty three percent of program participants represent minority families, including 24 percent African-American and 19 percent Hispanic. 
According to the DOE, 69 percent of students approved for vouchers are from metropolitan areas, 16 percent are from suburban areas, and 15 percent are from rural and town areas. Children from 185 Indiana school districts are participating in the program, with no school district accounting for more than 17 percent of the total scholarship recipients. The largest number of voucher approvals by city includes: 644 students from Indianapolis, 393 from Fort Wayne, 374 from South Bend, 139 from Anderson, 131 from Gary, and 121 from Evansville. 
 The final tally from the DOE finds that the level of participation in Indiana significantly exceeded what was seen in other states during the first year of voucher program implementation. For example, a similar program in Ohio brought in roughly 2,713 participants in its first year of 2007. The next highest first-year voucher participation rate came from the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program wherein 1997 a total of 1,994 students participated in the program.
You can read more about the enrollment numbers, see more specific demographic breakdowns, and hear from even more parents who have children participating in the program by clicking here.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MAG

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