The Journal Gazette
 
 
Friday, July 23, 2021 12:00 pm

School choice advocates hosting information sessions

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Two school choice advocates are conducting more than 130 parent information sessions and 80 community-based events until Sept. 1 to discuss K-12 options.

The Institute for Quality Education and MySchoolOptions.org wants to inform parents about new options based on changes in Indiana law passed earlier this year.

One of those is a large expansion of Indiana’s voucher system in which the state provides money for a scholarship to attend a private school.

With changes to income eligibility, now a family of four can make an annual income of $147,075 and their student may qualify to receive 90% of state tuition support to pay for private-school tuition and fees.

The groups estimate between 80-90% of Indiana families with school-aged children now qualify for a voucher. That is nearly one million Indiana K-12 students out of a population of 1.1 million school-aged children.

"With this significant change in the law and planning for resumption of in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year, more parents than ever are looking at their K-12 options," a news release said.

According to state data, 35,698 students received vouchers in the 2020-21 school year. That was actually a drop of about 1,000 students. Public schools also saw an enrollment drop due to COVID-19 last year.

Vouchers cost the state $170 million in 20-21. That will rise under the new law because more than 10,000 lower-level awards now move to 90% funded.

The events are open to the public. So far 75 have been held with more than 1,200 parents attending. The groups are partnering with churches, schools, community centers and organizations, as well as area festivals and fairs to meet its goals.

Additionally, in combination with state and national partners, a multi-faceted statewide awareness campaign using social and digital media is underway to inform families of their options as well as how to qualify and apply, a news release said.

To learn about events near you go to https://www.facebook.com/MySchoolOptions.

nkelly@jg.net


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