School Choice Programs
Indiana offers non-public schools the opportunity to participate in choice programs
Like families, private schools in Indiana have a choice as to whether or not they participate in a particular choice program. There are two school choice programs available to non-public schools in Indiana. Interested schools may participate in one or both of these programs.
School voucher program (also known as the Indiana Choice Scholarship): there are currently 316 schools participating and more than 29,000 students enrolled in the program for the 2013- 2014 school year. Click on the menu option on the left for more information.
- Tax Credit Scholarship program: there are currently 202 non-public schools participating and more than 11,000 students received financial assistance through this program in the 2013- 2014 school year. To learn more about our Tax Credit Scholarship program, click here.
If you are a parent looking to determine whether or not you would be eligible to receive a schoolvoucher or tax credit scholarship, visit our Opportunity Calculator at: www.myschooloptions.org
Tax Deduction Program
Families whose children are enrolled in a private school or who choose to homeschool can claim up to $1,000 per dependent child on state taxes for educational expenses (unreimbursed expenses only). Examples of such expenses are tuition and fees at a private school, textbooks, and other school supplies. The deduction applies to taxable year 2011 and thereafter.
School Voucher Program
Indiana's school voucher program (also known as the Indiana Choice Scholarship) allows eligible students to use the portion of state allotted funds to attend a private school that has been approved to participate in the voucher program.
As a participating school, you will work with the Indiana Department of Education to accept eligible students and assist them in applying for their voucher.
Non-public schools interested in participating must be located in Indiana and accredited by the state or another regional accreditation agency recognized by the state board (click here for a list of approved agencies)
Schools must also agree to administer the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP+) exam and/or end of course assessments (ECAs) for high school to all students at the required testing grade levels
- Non-schools must voluntarily agree to enroll an eligible student and agree to not discriminate admission based on race, color, or national origin
Participating schools must conduct a lottery if the number of voucher applicants meeting admissions criteria exceeds the number of slots available for students receiving vouchers
Indiana’s A-F school accountability system applies to participating schools and any school that receives a D or F for two consecutive years will become ineligible to receive new voucher students
Participating non-public schools must meet certain curricular standards which are consistent with state-accreditation
- Annual teacher evaluation plans must be implemented according to Indiana law
- Participating schools cannot be a public charter school or a traditional public school within the school corporation in which an eligible individual has legal settlement under IC 20-26-11
To review the official rules from the Indiana Department of Education and apply to participate, please click here.
(May 22, 2017) – Betsy
Wiley, president of the Institute for Quality Education, released the following
statement in response to the education policy proposal unveiled by
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, Monday night at the American Federation for Children National Policy Summit in Indianapolis.
“We applaud Secretary Devos for her continued efforts to bring quality educational opportunities to all American children regardless of race, income, ZIP code or background. She continues to show tremendous courage in standing up for the future of America’s children, over the self-interests of the vocal and often hostile opposition.”
“As the nation’s leader in educational choice, it’s appropriate that Secretary Devos chose Indiana as the forum for announcing this historic shift in federal education policy. We hope the significant steps we’ve taken in expanding choice for Hoosier families serve as a roadmap for bringing greater educational choice to students nationwide.”
For more information about IQE and how you can join us in supporting quality education for all Hoosier students, please visit www.i4qed.org. Follow @i4qed on Twitter and LinkedIN, and Like us on Facebook.
Tax Credit Scholarship Program
The Tax Credit Scholarship Program was designed to encourage private donations that provide low and middle income children an opportunity to attend a private school of their choice.
Under Indiana law HEA 1003, which went into effect in May 2011, the Tax Credit Scholarship Program was expanded and may now be a pathway for families to enter the Indiana Choice Scholarship (school voucher) Program.
Families who meet the eligibility requirements can apply to certified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) to receive a scholarship for their child to attend the K-12 private school of their choice.
Both corporate and individual donors are eligible to provide charitable donations to these SGOs in order to receive a 50% state tax credit, all while providing educational choices to families and opportunities to Hoosier students.The total program cap is $7.5 million dollars; this could mean up to $15 million in potential scholarships statewide.
Eligibility:To be deemed eligible to participate in the Tax Credit Scholarship Program your school must meet the following criteria:
Non- public schools must be accredited by a national, state, or regional accreditation organization approved by the Indiana Department of Education. To see a list of approved accrediting organizations, click here.
School must administer annual standardized tests, such as the ISTEP+ or another nationally-recognized, norm-referenced standardized test.
- Schools cannot accept students from a scholarship granting organization (SGO) that is administered by a relative of a school employee or board member.
Partnering with a Scholarship Granting OrganizationEligible schools must enroll with a scholarship granting organization (SGO). There are five SGOs in Indiana including the Institute for Quality Education (IQE). Schools interested in partnering with IQE as their SGO may fill out the form here. If you have questions about participating, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-951-8781.
INDIANAPOLIS, September 28, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Education
announced Thursday that Indiana has been awarded a $59 million Charter School
Program grant for the purposes of “expansion and replication of high-quality
charter schools programs.” The U.S. Department of Education was expected to
grant a total of $160 million in grants to 8-10 states.
Marcie Brown-Carter; director of IQE’s charter schools advocacy and services team, released the following statement:
“On behalf of the future charter schools of Indiana, we thank the U.S. Department of Education for recognizing Indiana’s leadership in providing students and families with high-quality public charter school options. These funds will go a long way in building upon our state’s solid public charter foundation, and ultimately result in bringing more young Hoosiers innovative educational opportunities.” Brown Carter commented.
The award is just the latest good news for the state’s public charter schools. In March, the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools ranked Indiana first in the nation for charter school laws that “foster a landscape of high-quality charter public schools that have a positive impact on students.
A month later, Evansville’s Signature School was recognized as the nation’s third most challenging high school, in rankings compiled annually by the Washington Post. Finally, in May, Gary student Raven Osborne made national headlines for receiving her Purdue bachelor’s degree weeks before picking up her diploma from 21st Century Charter School.
For more information on the Institute for Quality Education, please visit our website at www.i4qed.org.