Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Education

June 17, 2013

School Choice Indiana to hold voucher info meeting at library

Greensburg — School Choice Indiana will hold an informational meeting for Decatur County parents interested in learning more about the tuition voucher program.

Supporters of the voucher program argue that all schools are not created equal. Whether it be due to the class quality, funding, or some other reason, every school is not the perfect fit for every child, they argue. Private schools are usually smaller institutions that can offer more individual attention to each child, compared to larger public schools that must accommodate many more students. According to the Center for Education Reform, the average tuition for a private elementary school is $6,733 and private secondary school tuition averages $10,549 per year. For many families in Decatur County, that tuition would be so expensive as to prevent low income families from sending children there and perhaps denying children the level of education and attention they require.

One Hoosier organization seeks to change that by informing parents of the educational options available. School Choice Indiana is a non-partisan, statewide non-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding quality education options for Hoosier families. They have several programs Indiana families can use to send their child to a school that best meets the child’s individual educational needs.

The voucher program information meeting will be held at the Greensburg Public Library in the conference room on June 18. The meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Local parents that are interested in exploring the available educational options for their children may want to attend. The state’s school voucher program, tax credit scholarships, tax deductions and other forms of school choice will be discussed during the meeting.

For the 2012-2013 school year, more than 9,000 students participated in the program statewide, allowing those children to experience an educational environment that is best suited to them. A list of qualifying private schools will be available at the meeting. In addition, School Choice Indiana representatives will have information about participating charter and public schools in the area.

“We are thrilled that now more low- and middle-income families have the opportunity to choose a school that meets their child’s unique learning needs,” said Lindsey Brown, Executive Director of School Choice Indiana. “We expect more local families to take advantage of these programs in the 2013-2014 school year and we look forward to providing them with more information on their options.”

The voucher program allows parents to use some or all of the funds set aside by the government for their child’s education to pay for tuition at a private educational institution. Essentially, this separates government funding of schools from government operation of schools. Generally, parents are able to choose from religious or non-religious private schools. There are also options for parents with special needs children who attend a public school with no special accommodations or insufficient special education programs.

Also discussed at the meeting will be the eligibility requirements. Students assigned to a failing school may qualify for vouchers. Students who qualify for the state’s free or reduced lunch program are eligible for a voucher that will cover up to 90 percent of the state allocated amount for tuition. That number rises with income level.

Parents unhappy with their child’s current school or simply looking for a better fit are encouraged to attend the informational meeting to learn more about school-choice options. School Choice Indiana representatives will be available to answer questions and help parents make an educational plan for their child.

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004

 

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