Quality Education Options for all Families

Parents deserve the freedom to choose where their child goes to school.

Take Action

Parents deserve the freedom of choice when it comes to their child's education.

Parents know better than anyone else what type of school will work best for their child, that is why all parents should be free to choose. Students should not be forced to attend a school simply based on where they live.

School choice means different things to different people. To us, school choice means that parents are given good information about the schools in their community so they may decide for themselves which school will be a good fit for their child- whether that choice is a traditional public, public charter, or private school matters less than the quality of education received.

Quality, world-class educational opportunities should be available to all Hoosier students, whether in the public or the private school systems.

View Next Policy →

Policies to promote school choice are socially just and empower all families- regardless of the color of their skin, where they live, or how much money they have in the bank- to choose a quality education for their child.

School choice policies are not designed to harm public schools. In fact, they make our public school system stronger. Exercising school choice means evaluating all options and selecting the one that best meets the needs of the child- whether that choice is a traditional public, public charter, or private school. If parents have accurate information and the freedom to choose where they send their child, every type of school will respond with higher expectations, improved instruction, and strong leadership.

The implications of a failing education system are staggering, including high levels of crime, unemployment, and incarceration. For these reasons, access to a quality education is a civil rights issue.

Six reasons for giving parents freedom to choose quality education options:

- An estimated 1.1 million students failed to graduate with a diploma in 2011. That is 6,000 dropouts a day or one dropout every 29 seconds.
- Nearly half (48 percent) of public schools across the country are labeled as failing, and they serve a disproportionate number of minority students.
- Only 24 percent of eighth and 12th grade students have solid writing skills. Students who qualify for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program scored 27 points below students from families with higher incomes.
- The national achievement gap between lower- and higher-income students is 27 points.
- Students who drop out of school are twice as likely to end up in poverty.
- The United States is ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math in the world.

Sources:  National Assessment of Educational Progress, EducationWeek, The Guardian, and American Federation for Children.

In Indiana, there are currently 91 public charter schools serving more than 41,000 students. The Choice Scholarship (voucher) program serves more than 34,000 students making it the largest school voucher program in the country. Yet the largest form of school choice in Indiana is still public to public transfer with approximately 44,000 students transferring from the traditional school which they were assigned to a new traditional public school. 

Regardless of where a student lives or what type of school they choose to attend, quality course options are also important. Indiana must level the playing field when it comes to ensuring all students may access excellent curriculum through options such as Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate programs, Career and Technical Education courses, and highly effective Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teachers. 

Quality, world-class educational opportunities should be available to all Hoosier students, whether in the public or the private school systems.

Keri Hunter

Parent

Picking the right public school for our daughter was very important to us, so my husband and I decided to compare our neighborhood school to other nearby elementary sc...

Annie Elkins

Parent

The voucher program has dramatically changed our lives! While in the public school my son did not go to class and was making D’s and F’s in his classes. We tried everything...

Laura Koewler

Parent

Adam has been attending private Catholic schools since preschool.  Adam’s father and I understood the impact a Catholic education can make in a person’s character, value...

Marie Lokey

Parent

The education at Evansville Christian School has done so much for my children. The learning experience is quality and effective. With great curriculum, the teachers also he...

Mary Ellen Thomas

Parent

At the public school my children were not being challenged mentally, physically, and spiritually. With my children being at the school for seven hours I wanted to ensure th...

Pat McMahon

Parent

My family arrived in Indiana in 2006, and we were having issues with the new culture of our public school. The school was reluctant to work with us as parents and allow us...

Samantha Crook

Parent

I'm an adoptive mom of three and I was blessed to get to stay home with my children. Once they started heading to school, the anxiety hit hard. I realized they would be spending...

Luz Hernandez

Student

I as a previous high school student who received  help the Tax Credit Scholarship I would not be where I am today if  it not for this program. This p...

Joan Woods

Parent

I heard a statement in the media the other day that the “education system had been working for 100 years and there was no reason to change it." What our lives would be like...

Cheryl Kirk

Parent

Our middle class family lived in a school district where the high school was taken over by the state due to low performance. Without vouchers, we would not have had a quali...

Lesvi De la Cruz

Student and Parent

When Christel House asked me what I loved about the DORS program, I honestly couldn’t pick just one thing. I would definitely recommend this school to my friends and family...

Clara Tucker

Parent

I teach social studies and reading to fifth and sixth graders at Holy Angels Catholic School. I really have to say that Holy Angels is a family. When I was in college, I subs...

Courtney Williams

Parent

My son attends a traditional public school and my daughter attends a public charter school. All our kids are unique in their own special ways. It is worth looking into other sch...