Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Voucher Schools Make the Choices

For Further Reading:
  • 20,000 students on voucher plan
  • The voucher program will cost the state up to $81 million this year as 5,000 students were newly eligible because of a sibling, special education or F-rated public school exemption. Legislation approved last year by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence created additional pathways for students interested in attending nonpublic schools with a voucher.
  • Voucher schools invite public scrutiny in accepting public dollars
  • Taxpayers spent more than $36 million last year on schools not required to provide many of the services public schools must offer. A report released by the Indiana Department of Education this week showed that 19,809 students are using vouchers this academic year – more than double the number who received taxpayer assistance last year.
  • Public cash to teach creationism
  • Five area Christian schools that confirmed students are taught creationism or intelligent design, or included curriculum information on their websites stating that they do not teach evolution, received a combined $3.9 million in state-funded vouchers.
  • Vouchers a distraction from public education needs
  • ...we are now funding two separate systems of education with tax dollars – one public, one private. This was not what vouchers were meant to do. When introduced in 2011, vouchers were described as serving a small population of low-income students. In fact, voucher eligibility was then limited to students who had attended two semesters of public school, under the premise that parents would use vouchers only if they were dissatisfied with their children’s public schools.
    Now, the enrollment caps and prior public school enrollment requirements have been lifted, new eligibility pathways have been introduced and the income guidelines have been relaxed...Now, 40 percent of students with vouchers have never attended public schools...
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