INDIANAPOLIS — Parents across the state are making the choice of where to send their children.
Indiana schools, organizations, and individuals are celebrating National School Choice Week, raising awareness of Indiana’s Choice Scholarship. This scholarship gives parents the opportunity to send their children to a specific school.
“If a family meets certain requirements that are detailed in state law, then they can qualify for a scholarship that they can apply towards a non-public school,” said Holly Lawson with the Indiana Department of Education.
For Anita Silverman, this gave her the ability to send her children to schools to address their specific needs. She is a mother to six children, each with their own unique skills, qualities and comfort zones.
“I live in a school district that has close to 1000 students per graduating class, and at that time I realized it wasn’t the best fit for all of my children. So my kids graduated from there and they were really successful, and they’re very successful adults,” said Silverman. “And then so my other children for different reasons, had to go to a smaller school.”
In the 2021 legislative session, Indiana lawmakers passed an expansion to the Choice Scholarship. The Indiana Non-Public Education Association says this includes:
- A 90% voucher tier
- Increase in voucher financial eligibility to 300% of free and reduced lunch
- Increase in the financial eligibility for the tax credit scholarship program to 300% of free and reduced lunch
- Increase in the tax credit cap to $17.5 million for 2021 and $18.5 million in year two of the budget.
- Establishment of an Education Scholarship Account program (ESA) for students with special needs with the same financial eligibility as the voucher
The Indiana Department of Education keeps track of schools where parents have chosen to send their children. For the 2021-2022 school year, these are the top transfers for public, charter, and non-public schools.
Top 10 public school transfers for parent choice
- Indianapolis Public Schools to MSD Lawrence Townhip
- South Bend Community School Corporation to School City of Mishawaka
- South Bend Community School Corporation to Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation
- Indianapolis Public Schools to MSD Wayne Township
- Fort Wayne Community Schools to East Allen County Schools
- Indianapolis Public Schools to Beech Grove City Schools
- Anderson Community School Corporation to Frankton-Lapel Community Schools
- Elkhart Community Schools to Concord Community Schools
- Indianapolis Public Schools to MSD Warren Township
- Marion Community Schools to Mississinewa Community School Corporation
Top 10 public charter school transfers for parent choice
- Gary Community School Corp to 21st Century Charter Sch of Gary
- Gary Community School Corp to Gary Lighthouse Charter School
- Indianapolis Public Schools to Victory College Prep Academy
- Gary Community School Corp to Thea Bowman Leadership Academy
- Anderson Community School Corp to Anderson Preparatory Academy
- Indianapolis Public Schools to Paramount Brookside
- Gary Community School Corp to Charter School of the Dunes
- Indianapolis Public Schools to Herron Charter*
- Indianapolis Public Schools to Christel House Academy South*
- Indianapolis Public Schools to Matchbook Learning*
*A member of the IPS Portfolio of Schools.
Top 10 non-public school transfers for parent choice
- Fort Wayne Community Schools to Saint Charles Borromeo School
- Fort Wayne Community Schools to Bishop Dwenger High School
- South Bend Community School Corp to Saint Joseph High School
- Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp to Evansville Christian Sch Newburgh
- Fort Wayne Community Schools to Bishop Luers High School
- Perry Township Schools to Saint Mark School
- Fort Wayne Community Schools to Concordia Lutheran High School
- Fort Wayne Community Schools to Blackhawk Christian Elementary Sch
- South Bend Community School Corp to Marian High School
- Indianapolis Public Schools to Cardinal Ritter High School
To qualify for the Choice Scholarship, families must meet the following income requirement:
|Household Size||Household Income to Qualify|
The student must also meet one of the following student eligibility criteria.
- Two Semesters in a Public School Track – The student attended an Indiana K-12 public school (including a charter) for at least two semesters immediately preceding the first semester of receiving a Choice Scholarship
- “F” Public School Track – The student would be required to attend a specific public school based on his/her residency that that has been assigned an “F” grade. (However, he or she is not required to attend that public school before becoming eligible nor return to that school should the grade be raised).
- Special Education Track – The student has a disability that requires special education services and has an individualized education plan (IEP) or service plan (SP).
- Pre-K Track – The student received an Early Education Grant (On My Way Pre-K) and is attending kindergarten at the same school that they attended for preschool.
- Foster Care Track – The student is in foster care.
- Sibling Track – The sibling of the newly applying student received either a Choice Scholarship or an SGO Scholarship in a previous school year, including a school year that does not immediately precede the school year for which the student is applying for a Choice Scholarship.
- Previous Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) Track – The student received an SGO Scholarship in a previous school year, including a school year that does not immediately precede the school year for which the student is applying for a Choice Scholarship.
- Continuing Choice Scholarship Student Track – The student received a Choice Scholarship in the school year immediately preceding the school year for which the student is applying for a Choice Scholarship.
To apply for a Choice scholarship, contact the school you want your child to go to. The following schools are participating in the School Choice scholarship: