Traditional Public Schools

A traditional public school is free and open to all students.

Traditional public schools are available in every Indiana community. Many families exercise school choice by moving to a community to attend a particular school. Some traditional school corporations are offering families choices through magnet schools or career and technical education. Indiana law allows students to transfer from one public school to another public school within their district or a different school district entirely. Each local school board decides whether or not the school corporation will allow transfers.

Magnet Schools

A magnet school is a traditional public school with a focus on one particular subject.

Magnet schools are traditional public schools within a corporation that offer focused content for students in addition to their regular course work. These “magnets” attract students who are interested in topics such as performing arts, math, science, humanities and visual arts, business and financial studies, and international studies. Like other traditional public schools, these schools are free to attend and open to all students.

Public Charter Schools

A charter school is a free public school where students are not required to reside in any certain district.

Charter schools are a type of public school and open to all students, regardless of where they live. Just like traditional public schools, there is no cost to attend. They were created to provide students and families with unique and innovative approaches to learning. Charter schools are exempt from some state regulations and they have more flexibility than traditional public schools. In exchange, charters have high accountability standards and may lose their ability to operate at any time if they are not meeting the expectations of their authorizing organization.

There are more than 70 charter schools throughout the state of Indiana serving approximately 37,000 students. For more information on Indiana charter schools, visit the Indiana Charter School Board website.

Private Schools

A private school charges tuition to attend and may focus on a set of core values or beliefs.

Private schools are created and operated by private groups, and often focus on a set of core values or beliefs. Some private schools have religious affiliations. Private schools use selective admissions processes and charge tuition to attend. Most private schools in Indiana are accredited by the state or other accrediting agency. Indiana offers families financial assistance for tuition through school vouchers and tax credit scholarships.

Further questions about these school choice programs?
Refer to our FAQ section, or contact us.

Virtual Schools

A virtual school is a free public school that teaches K-12 students through the internet.

A virtual school is a public school option that teaches through online methods. This is a free option for families. Virtual schools are accredited and available to students in grades K-12.


Homeschooling takes place outside of the public or private school environment and is usually directed by parents or tutors.

Parents can choose to elect out of public or private schools and educate their children in their own homes. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but each state has its own statutes and regulations governing the practice.

For more information on homeschooling in Indiana, visit the Indiana Association of Home Educators.

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