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. However, programs are available which allow students to transfer from one public school to another public school within their district or a different school district entirely.
Every local school board decides whether or not the school corporation will accept students that live outside of the district. Indiana law outlines the requirements for school corporations that have decided to accept transfer students. However, fees and restrictions due to capacity may apply and transportation may not be provided. Currently, 265 public school districts accept students that live outside of their district and 34,931 students statewide are participating in this type of school choice.
If you are interested in transferring your child to a different public school outside your district, contact the public school district of interest to learn more.
For a list of school corporations that do accept students living out side of their district, visit this page.
A private school charges tuition to attend and may have admission requirements.
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 three private school choice programs: school vouchers, tax credit scholarships and the individual tax deduction.
Further questions about these school choice programs? Refer to our FAQ section, or contact us.
Public Charter Schools
A charter school is a free, public school where a student is not required to reside in any given area or district in order to attend.
Charter schools are a type of public school and open to any student, regardless of where they live. Just like traditional public schools, charter schools are free. 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. More information on charter schools may be found at http://www.in.gov/icsb/.
A magnet school is a public school with a focus on one particular subject.
Magnet schools are traditional public schools within a district 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.
A virtual school option is a free, public school that teaches students K-12 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.
Career and Technical Education
Career and technical education provides high school students the opportunity to learn skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and other career skills.
Indiana offers 49 Area Career Centers aimed at providing high school students with valuable skills for post-secondary education and advanced technical training.
Each center offers programs in career development and technical education to enhance the student’s regular course work. Most programs are designed for juniors and seniors in high school and offer dual college credit and certifications from colleges and universities.
Contact the Area Career Center in your community to learn more. For a complete list of Area Career Centers, click here.
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.