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. The Center for Education Reform reports that Indiana has a relatively strong charter school law. As of 2010, approximately 20,000 students were attending the state’s 62 charter schools.
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. Indiana also offers parents a tax deduction to help pay for education costs, such as school tuition or tutoring. Finally, low-income families also have the option of participating in the Corporate and Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Program, which allows individuals and businesses to receive a tax credit for donating to scholarships for low-income students.
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 (new as of 2011) and two full-time virtual charter schools available statewide: Indiana Connections Academy Virtual School and Hoosier Academy Virtual School. There are also two hybrid charter schools throughout the state as well as a variety of statewide supplemental, district-led programs. As of 2011, online charter schools no longer have to be limited as pilot programs. In 2010-2011, the two full-time charter schools enrolled 470 students, and the two hybrid 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.