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The Institute for Quality Education
is a locally based non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of education for all Indiana students.

Resources

  • Publications
  • School Chooser
  • School Choice Definitions

Publications

ABCs of School Choice 2013

Click here  for a document, published by the Friedman Foundation, which documents school choice facts and programs and serve as a fingertips guide to school choice.

State-by-State Options

The American Federation for Children has compiled a way for you to, "Learn more about school choice programs, pending legislation, and education data in your state. Each state page provides you with resources, recent news, and information on how you can get involved in the fight for school choice." Visit the American Federation for Children website to learn more about school choice and how it varies state by state.

2013-2014 Indianapolis School Chooser Guide

School Choice Indiana is a community partner for the 2013-2014 Indianapolis School Chooser Guide.

Created in partnership with GreatSchools, School Choice Indiana, Indiana Public Charter Schools Association, Indiana Non-Public Education Association, Stand for Children, and The Indiana Partnerships Center, the guide contains information about all schools in Marion County. The online version of the guide contains information on schools throughout the state.

The guide includes programming information, key deadlines, transportation, fees and academic data gathered from most of the Marion County public school districts, public charter schools, non-public schools, and the Indiana Department of Education to help parents select the right fit for their children. It will be distributed at dozens of Marion County locations so parents can conveniently pick up a copy.

Marion County residents can request their copy of the Chooser by clicking here.

For families who live outside of Marion County, click here to view schools in your community.

School Choice Definitions

Vouchers

These programs allow parents to use all or part of the government funding set aside for their children's education to send their children to the public or private school of their choice. In effect, this separates government financing of education from government operation of schools. Most programs allow parents to send their children to either religious or non-religious private schools. Participating private schools are required to meet standards for safety, fiscal soundness and non-discrimination; some programs also impose additional restrictions. Popular examples of vouchers include universal vouchers (all children are eligible), means tested vouchers (low-income families eligible), and special education vouchers (children identified as having special education needs eligible).

Examples: Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona, Ohio, and Florida

Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Individuals and/or corporations get a tax credit for making donations to private charitable organizations, which use the money to fund scholarships for students. These scholarships can cover the cost of private-school tuition, tutoring and transportation. In some states, students must meet certain income criteria to be eligible for scholarships. Scholarship granting organizations can be started by community groups, philanthropic organizations or any other group that wants to extend school choice to children. Participating private schools are required to meet standards for safety, fiscal soundness and non-discrimination.

Examples: Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Arizona

Personal Tax Credits and Deductions

Parents are given a tax credit or tax deduction from state income taxes for approved educational expenses. This usually includes private-school tuition as well as books, supplies, computers, tutors and transportation. Even when tuition is not eligible for the credit or deduction, these programs still make school choice easier for parents because they relieve the burden of non-tuition expenses at private schools. Some programs restrict the income level of eligible recipients or the amount they can claim.

Examples: Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois

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. This option typically offers a unique educational model and is held to a high level of accountability by both its authorizing entity and its most important stakeholder: the families themselves.

There are roughly 70 charter schools throughout the state of Indiana and they serve about 30,000 students. More information on charter schools can be found at www.incharters.org.

Homeschooling

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

Homeschool parents can now receive a $1,000 tax deduction per K-12 child they homeschool. Tax forms can be found by clicking here for the deduction form .

For more information on homeschooling, visit www.iahe.net.

Virtual Schools

A virtual school is  public school option that teaches through online methods. This is a free and accredited option. In some cases, all virtual school courses are taken online, and in other cases the student could still attend a school building on a more limited basis than what would be required in a traditional school setting.

Virtual School Facts:

  • 275K online students nationally
  • grown by 75K in last couple of years
  • 32 states allow full-time virtual programs

Examples: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

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