Please support School Choice
School Choice expansion has been widely talked about in the media lately. Legislation seeks to expand educational options for all Hoosiers, and it further empowers parents to find the best educational opportunity that fits the needs of their children through the choice scholarship program (voucher).
Teachers unions and public school proponents have been vocal about their opposition to the bill, but I felt it necessary to correct some of the misinformation I’ve seen.
The opportunity to raise the voucher income limit to 300% of free and reduced lunch will not be “helping the rich.” Wealthy families don’t need the voucher and low-income families already have access. What about the middle class?
This voucher expansion will help the families that have multiple children and work several jobs just so their children can attend a school that teaches their faith and offers the best fit for their children’s needs. It will help the families that make just over what now qualifies for a voucher, but don’t make enough to afford tuition at the school they want to send their child to attend and also provide for other family obligations.
We know traditional public school students make up about 90% of school-age students in the state. However, students who receive a voucher make up 3% of our entire K-12 student population, but they receive only 2% of the state funding. At most, voucher students receive 90% of the amount they would have received if they attended their local public school. They can take that amount and choose the Choice school that best fits their needs. The rest stays with the public school system, on top of any local or federal funding, without the responsibility of educating that child.
In 2019-2020, the state awarded $172,776,489.99 in school vouchers to families to choose the best school for their child. If each of those 36,707 voucher students would have attended their district public school instead of a private school, the state would have spent $239,239,229.73 in tuition support for those students. That’s a savings of $66,462,739.74.
We need to shift our focus from Choice is “taking away” from corporations and instead focus on how it might positively impact Hoosier families and students.
Glenn Tebbe, Greensburg