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One-eighth of state vouchers used in FWCS boundaries

INDIANAPOLIS – More than 1,160 students from within Fort Wayne Community Schools’ boundaries are using a state-paid voucher to attend private school this year, according to data released Tuesday from the Indiana Department of Education.

Only Indianapolis Public Schools had a larger number.

In all, 9,324 students statewide took advantage of the expansive program – up from 3,919 last year.

In all, $38 million in state funds is flowing to private schools under the program this year.

The information was released about 24 hours before the Indiana Supreme Court hears oral arguments about the constitutionality of the vouchers.

“Once again, thousands of Hoosier families made powerful choices for their children, choices made possible by Indiana’s commitment to educational options for all students—regardless of background, income or ZIP code,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said. “Simply put, we are providing our neediest families options they’ve never had before, and they’re taking advantage of the opportunity to select schools that work best for their children.”

In FWCS’s case, the vouchers were obtained in two ways.

First, 921 children who attended public school last year received a voucher. In addition, 244 kids who received money from a scholarship granting organization last year to attend private school also obtained the publicly financed voucher.

All children met certain income eligibility guidelines.