The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

Indiana - Choice Scholarship Program

Enacted 2011 • Launched 2011 • Voucher

Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program allows students in low- and middle-income families to receive vouchers to attend private school.

Latest Stats (2013-14)

  • Students participating: 19,809
  • Schools participating: 313
  • Average voucher value: $3,962 (2012-13)

Program Details

Student Funding
Students from families that qualified for the federal free and reduced-price lunch (FRL) program can receive a voucher worth up to 90 percent of the state per-student spending amount for the sending school district. Students from families earning 150 percent of that same threshold can receive a voucher worth up to 50 percent of the state funding allocation for the sending district. The maximum voucher size is $4,700 for students in grades K-8 and $4,500 for students in grades 9-12. Families can supplement vouchers with additional funds. In 2014-15, the K-8 maximum voucher increases to $4,800.

Student Eligibility
Children must be between ages five and 22 to participate. Eligible students include: (1) students who attended a public school (including a charter school) for the preceding two semesters and who are from families earning up to (but not exceeding) 150 percent of FRL ($65,352 for a family of four in 2013-14), (2) students with disabilities that have an Individualized Education Plan and who are from families earning up to (but not exceeding) 200 percent of FRL ($87,136 for a family of four in 2013-14), (3) students who attended or would attend a public school designated “F” and who are from families earning up to (but not exceeding) 150 percent of FRL, (4) students or siblings of students who received a minimum of an $800 tax-credit scholarship in the previous school year from a Scholarship Granting Organization, or (5) students who received a voucher in the previous school year under this program and are from families earning up to (but not exceeding) 200 percent of FRL.

Legal Developments
July 1, 2011, teachers’ union officials and others challenged Indiana’s voucher program in state court, alleging the Indiana Constitution prohibits funding of religious schools. A Marion County Superior Court judge denied a motion for preliminary injunction. The trial court issued a summary judgment January 13, 2012, in favor of the program. After an appeal was issued, the Indiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the program November 21, 2012. On March 26, 2013, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Choice Scholarship Program does not violate any provision of the state constitution. Meredith v. Pence, Indiana Supreme Court, No. 49S00-1203-PL-172.

Rules & Regulations
• Income Limit: 150 percent x FRL
• Prior Year Public School Requirement: Conditional
• Geographic Limit: Statewide
• Enrollment Cap: None
• Voucher Cap: Conditional
• Testing Mandates: State achievement tests

Governing Statutes
Ind. Code § 20-51

Friedman Contact
Robert Enlow |

Related Research

11/19/2014 Exploring Indiana's Private Education Sector
10/30/2014 The School Starter Checklist: Meeting the Private Education Regulations in States with School Choice
5/30/2014 Public Rules on Private Schools: Measuring the Regulatory Impact of State Statutes and School Choice Programs
4/29/2014 Sector Switchers: Why Catholic Schools Convert to Charters and What Happens Next
2/11/2014 Why Indiana Voucher Parents Choose Private Schools
1/10/2011 Indiana K-12 and School Choice Survey
9/2/2009 Florida’s Lessons for Indiana K-12 Reform

Related News

4/29/2014 Study: Catholic schools "switching" to charters serve more students, minorities
3/12/2014 National Review Online | Choosing to Learn
2/11/2014 Survey: Voucher parents chose private schools for better academics
2/11/2014 National Review | Surprise: In Indiana, Parental Choice Increases Parental Satisfaction
1/31/2014 Indy Star | Let parents decide how to use school vouchers
1/27/2014 Washington Times | More vouchers for current private school students
1/23/2014 U.S. voucher, school choice enrollment reaches record high
11/7/2013 Two years after enacting statewide voucher program, Indiana makes dramatic gains on national achievement test
10/9/2013 Indianapolis Star | Explosive growth soon could make Indiana top state for school vouchers
10/2/2013 OneNewsNow | Thousands request vouchers in Indiana, thousands more eligible
8/19/2013 Washington Times | Five cheers for choice
8/15/2013 Sharing your story in “The ABCs” can be as easy as one, two, three
8/6/2013 Stateline | Tax Dollars for Private School Tuition Gain in States
5/13/2013 Enlow | To lift Nevada's education system, offer more school choice
3/27/2013 Indiana Vouchers Help Student Excel in School and Community
3/26/2013 Indiana Supreme Court Rules School Vouchers Constitutional
1/23/2013 “The ABCs of School Choice,” 2013 Edition, Now Available
1/23/2013 Enlow | School Choice: 49 Million Students Still Without Options
1/21/2013 Atlanta Journal Constitution | National School Choice Week: 49 Million Students Still Without Options
1/6/2013 Indianapolis Business Journal | Legislature to Look at Expanding Voucher Program
12/5/2012 Enlow | Robert Enlow on Indiana Voucher Lawsuit
11/20/2012 School Vouchers Survive Legal Fight in Oklahoma, Face Hearing in Indiana
11/20/2012 Indianapolis Star | Indiana’s Voucher Program Makes Huge Gains
5/28/2012 Tribune-Star | School Choice Proponents Foresee Growth of Vouchers
5/26/2012 Byrne | Patrick Byrne on "Stossel"
4/19/2012 Journal & Courier | Supporters Defend Indiana Voucher Law in Court Briefs
4/16/2012 Indianapolis Business Journal | No Reason for Vouchers to Divide Reformers
4/13/2012 Education Week | La. School Choice Options Expand After Sweeping Education Overhaul
4/12/2012 Wall Street Journal | School Vouchers Gain Ground
4/6/2012 AP | School Vouchers Spark Growing Court Fights in US
2/15/2012 WXIN (Fox 59) | Education Supporters Gather for 'Ed Reform Rocks' Rally
1/18/2012 Las Vegas Review-Journal | Another Victory for School Choice
12/19/2011 Education Week | Indiana Schools Grapple With Voucher Law's Impact
12/19/2011 WISH-TV | Judge Hears School Voucher Debate
12/12/2011 | Luers Showcased in Voucher Program
11/18/2011 State Impact | Could Indiana’s School Vouchers Be Saving The State Money?
11/17/2011 State Impact | Are Ads For Schools A ‘New Reality’ In Indiana?
11/4/2011 Indianapolis Star | Vouchers Start Out Strong in Indiana
11/3/2011 Final Results: Indiana is Nation’s Largest Ever First-Year Voucher Program
11/3/2011 Indianapolis Star | Indiana’s Voucher Start Exceeds all Others
10/25/2011 Enlow | Voucher Program a Valuable Reform
9/30/2011 2011’s New School Choice Programs
9/13/2011 WORLD | The Battle Over Vouchers in Indiana
9/3/2011 Enlow | Indiana School Vouchers Include the Choice of Private Education
9/1/2011 Chicago Tribune | Idolizing Indiana
8/27/2011 Enlow | Vouchers Help Create a Supporting System at Home, Aiding Students
8/27/2011 Evansville Courier & Press | Educators, Parents Begin State Voucher Program
8/23/2011 Byrne | The Case for School Vouchers
8/19/2011 Yahoo! | Indiana School Voucher Program Facing Lawsuit
8/16/2011 WLFI | Judge Denies Injunction on Voucher Law
8/15/2011 Indiana Court Rules in Favor of School Voucher Program
8/13/2011 Evansville Courier & Press | Vouchers Will Cost EVSC 94 Students and Thousands of Dollars
8/10/2011 DiPerna | Parents Snatching Up Vouchers and K-12 Scholarships for New School Year
8/10/2011 DiPerna | Parents Snatching Up Vouchers and K-12 Scholarships for New School Year
8/3/2011 Courier-Journal | Indiana Has More Than 1,000 Applications For School Vouchers
8/3/2011 EducationNext | No Matter How You Ask the Question
7/5/2011 Wall Street Journal | The Year of School Choice
7/1/2011 WLFI | LSC Joins in Lawsuit Over Voucher Law
6/30/2011 Evansville Courier & Press | Diocese Officials Praise School Voucher Plan
6/28/2011 Road to Reform Runs Through Indiana
6/26/2011 Indianapolis Star | Want to Get a School Voucher?
6/26/2011 Journal & Courier | Indiana voucher program lags weeks before debut
6/21/2011 Reed | Revolutionizing Education, Hoosier-style
5/27/2011 Reed | Jeff Reed on WSPD's Brian Wilson and the Afternoon Drive

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