Indiana is a leader in providing school choice.
Public School Choice:
Indiana offers some choice within the public education system, including open enrollment within the Indianapolis school district and an inter-district open enrollment policy for students in other districts.
Private School Choice:
In 2011, Indiana implemented the most expansive school choice program in the United States. Within three years, approximately 60 percent of middle- and low-income students in the state will be eligible for scholarships to attend a private school of their choice, with scholarship amounts determined on a sliding, income-based scale. The Choice Scholarship Program gives vouchers to students form low- and middle-income families to attend a private school of their choice. In 2012, approximately 10,000 students were benefitting from this program. Indiana also offers parents a tax deduction, of up to $1,000, to help pay for various education expenditures, such as school tuition or tutoring. Finally, low-income families also have the option of participating in the Corporate and Individual School Scholarship Tax Credit Program. This program allows individuals and businesses to receive a tax credit of up to 50% for donating to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs), nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships to low-income students.
Indiana has an extremely strong charter school law. According to the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, as of 2013, approximately 35,000 students are attending the state’s 73 charter schools. The autonomous Indiana Charter School Board approves charters, and there is no cap on the maximum number of charter schools that can be authorized within the state. Charter schools in Indiana also have a significant amount of freedom from regulations.
Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning reports that Indiana does not have a state virtual school but does have one full-time virtual public school, the Achieve Virtual Education Academy, and two full-time virtual charter schools available statewide: Indiana Connections Academy Virtual School and Hoosier Academy Virtual School. In 2010-2011, the two full-time charter schools enrolled 617 students.
In 2011, Indiana implemented the most expansive school choice program in the United States. Within three years, approximately 60 percent of middle- and low-income students in the state will be eligible for scholarships to attend private schools of their choice. Indiana will now also provide a tax deduction for parents of up to $1,000 to help pay for education costs, such as school tuition and tutoring.
Click here for detailed information on Indiana's public school system and see below for school choice contacts and a history of school choice legislation in Indiana.