Friday, June 29, 2012

Ohhh...We're Halfway There!

While most of the nation is focused on staying cool during a recording-setting heat wave, the weather isn’t the only place where records are being set.  This week marks the halfway point of the year, and it's been school choice success after success so far in 2012.

Already this year, there have been four new programs enacted in Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Hampshire—making for 31 programs nationwide, to anyone who is counting. That brings the total number of voucher programs to 16 and scholarship tax credit programs to 13. 

In fact, check out the 2012 Breakthrough Victories for Children handout, which updates the 2011-12 School Choice Yearbook published earlier this year by the Alliance for School Choice.  But in the meantime, here are some significant and fun facts on the momentum of school choice:

  • Four new programs have been created in Louisiana, New Hampshire, Mississippi, and Virginia in 2012. 
  • Five programs have been expanded in four states in 2012—Arizona expanded both its Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit and its Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program.
  • Three states—the most in any year so far—have joined the family of states providing private school choice.
  • Thanks to the statewide expansion of Louisiana’s Student Scholarships for Excellence Program, 380,000 children are eligible under the program.
  • School choice has seen a 98.3 percent growth in number of programs in last five years and a 63.6 percent increase in the number of states offering such programs.
  • In the 2011-12 legislation session, 35 chambers in 19 states passed private school choice legislation.  That’s a 40 percent increase in the number of chambers and a 35.7 percent increase in the number of states since the 2009-10 legislative session.
  • Nearly one-third of states (32 percent) have enacted private school choice programs.
  • Mississippi and Ohio are the only two states that have voucher programs for specific special needs—dyslexia and autism respectively.  Across the nation there are 11 programs specifically tailored for students with special needs.
  • With future enrollment caps due to be lifted in places like Indiana and Racine, Wis., and with statewide expansions like in Louisiana, one million children could be eligible to participate in private school choice programs in the next few years.
Download our Yearbook and the corresponding update sheet for all the numbers.

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

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