America’s School Choice Programs Ranked by Eligibility, 2019 Edition
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  • Jan 21 2019

America’s School Choice Programs Ranked by Eligibility, 2019 Edition

At EdChoice, eligibility is one of the most important factors in analyzing a school choice program. We believe that all parents—regardless of geography, income or any other factor—should have access to the educational options that best fit their children’s needs.

You can find specific program eligibility rates in this year’s ABCs of School Choice, or check out this comprehensive list for programs ranked by school choice eligibility. Last year’s rankings are in parentheses following each program name.

When possible, we calculate program eligibility based on the number of students in the state who are eligible to participate in that educational choice program. For programs where income limits largely dictate which families can utilize school choice, we calculate eligibility based on the number of families with children in the state who are income-eligible to participate in that educational choice program. See our May 2016 blog post for an in-depth look at our eligibility calculations, as well as p. 151 of The ABCs of School Choice for an additional explainer that includes data sources.

We refined our calculations last year to include homeschooled student estimates and a more liberal family income count, so many programs saw modest net eligibility increases. At the same time, we also used more recent American Community Survey data, so the total population of families was also expanded for many programs. The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and state foster care data were also incorporated for applicable programs.

It’s important to note that just because a program has high eligibility doesn’t mean it will have high participation.

As today’s participation rankings showed, not every family who is eligible for school choice will choose to use an educational choice program, but we believe that such options should be available should parents choose them.

Tomorrow, we’ll show how important funding is to this equation. All too often, states with 100 percent school choice eligibility have very low funding, making these programs difficult for many families who need stronger purchasing power.

 

T1. Iowa’s Tuition and Textbook Tax Credits (T1)
Individual Tax Credit | 100% of taxpaying families with children eligible

T1. Minnesota’s Education Deduction (T1)
Individual Tax Deduction | 100% of taxpaying families with children eligible

T1. Montana’s Tax Credits for Contributions to Student Scholarship Organizations (T1)*
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 100% of students eligible

*A December decision from the Montana Supreme Court rendered this program inoperable; however, proponents of the program are attempting to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

T1. Ohio’s Cleveland Scholarship Program (T1)
Voucher | 100% of students eligible

5. Arizona’s Original Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program (6)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | >99% of families with children eligible

6. Illinois’s Tax Credits for Educational Expenses (T1)
Individual Tax Credit | >95% of taxpaying families with children eligible

7. Arizona’s “Switcher” Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program (8)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 94% of families with children eligible

8. Nevada’s Education Savings Accounts (7)
Education Savings Account | 93% of students eligible

9. Georgia’s Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit (9)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 89% of students eligible

10. Florida’s Hope Scholarship Program (NEW)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 83% of students eligible

11. Oklahoma’s Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships (11)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 82% of families with children eligible

12. Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (11)
Voucher | 75% of families with children eligible

13. Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (12)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 66% of families with children eligible

14. Puerto Rico’s Free School Selection Program (NEW)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 66% of families with children eligible

15. Indiana’s School Scholarship Tax Credit Program (13)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 60% of students eligible

16. Arizona’s Low-Income Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program (15)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 58% of families with children eligible

17. Iowa’s School Tuition Organization Tax Credit (22)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 58% of families with children eligible

18. Wisconsin’s Parental Private School Choice Program (Racine) (14)
Voucher | 57% of families with children eligible

19. Nevada’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program (16)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 52% of families with children eligible

20. Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (19)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 49% of families with children eligible

21. Louisiana’s Tuition Donation Credit Program (20)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 47% of families with children eligible

22. Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program (18)
Voucher | 46% of families with children eligible

23. North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarships (21)
Voucher | 44% of families with children eligible

24. Illinois’s Invest in Kids Program (17)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 44% of families with children eligible

25. South Dakota’s Partners in Education Tax Credit Program (23)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 42% of families with children eligible

26. Virginia’s Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credit Program (26)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 39% of families with children eligible

27. Rhode Island’s Tax Credits for Contributions to Scholarship Organizations (24)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 38% of families with children eligible

28. Alabama’s Education Scholarship Program (25)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 37% of families with children eligible

29. Ohio’s Income-Based Scholarship Program (29)
Voucher | 34% of families with children eligible

30. New Hampshire’s Education Tax Credit Program (27)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 34% of families with children eligible

31. Wisconsin’s Parental Choice Program (Statewide) (31)
Voucher | 33% of families with children eligible

32. Washington, D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarship Program (28)
Voucher | 33% of families with children eligible

33. Louisiana Scholarship Program (30)
Voucher | 31% of students eligible

34. Ohio’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program (52)
Voucher | 29% of students eligible

35. Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (33)
Education Savings Account | 22% of students eligible

36. Minnesota’s K–12 Education Credit (34)
Individual Tax Credit | 21% of families with children eligible

37. Mississippi’s Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Program (45)
Education Savings Account | 19% of students eligible

38. Louisiana’s Elementary and Secondary School Tuition Deduction (35)
Individual Tax Deduction | 18% of students eligible

39. Oklahoma’s Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities (36)
Voucher | 16% of students eligible

40. Arkansas’s Succeed Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities (38)
Voucher | 14% of students eligible

41. Wisconsin’s K–12 Private School Tuition Deduction (39)
Individual Tax Deduction | 13% of taxpaying families with children eligible

42. Wisconsin’s Special Needs Scholarship Program (44)
Voucher | 13% of students eligible

43. Ohio’s Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program (40)
Voucher | 13% of students eligible

T45. South Carolina’s Refundable Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children (T42)
Individual Tax Credit | 13% of students eligible

T45. South Carolina’s Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children (T42)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 13% of students eligible

46. Indiana’s Private School/Homeschool Deduction (37)
Individual Tax Deduction | 12% of students eligible

47. Arizona’s Lexie’s Law for Disabled and Displaced Students Tax Credit Scholarship Program (48)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 12% of students eligible

48. Utah’s Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Program (47)
Voucher | 12% of students eligible

49. Florida’s John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program (41)
Voucher | 12% of students eligible

50. North Carolina’s Special Education Scholarship Grant for Children with Disabilities (49)
Voucher | 11% of students eligible

51. North Carolina’s Personal Education Savings Accounts Program (51)
Education Savings Account | 11% of students eligible

52. Florida’s Gardiner Scholarship Program (46)
Education Savings Account | 11% of students eligible

53. Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program (50)
Voucher | 10% of students eligible

54. Louisiana’s School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities (54)
Voucher | 10% of students eligible

55. Maryland’s Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program (32)
Voucher | 10% of families with children eligible

56. Pennsylvania’s Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (55)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 8% of students eligible

57. Kansas’s Tax Credit for Low Income Students Scholarship Program (53)
Tax-Credit Scholarship | 7% of students eligible

58. Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 Parent-Taxpayer Refundable Tax Credits (57)
Individual Tax Credit | 5% of students eligible

59. Vermont’s Town Tuitioning Program (58)
Voucher | 4% of students eligible

60. Mississippi’s Nate Rogers Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program (60)
Voucher | 3% of students eligible

61. Maine’s Town Tuitioning Program (59)
Voucher | 3% of students eligible

62. Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia Program (56)
Voucher | 3% of students eligible

63. Tennessee’s Individualized Education Accounts (61)
Education Savings Account | 2% of students eligible

64. Ohio’s Autism Scholarship (62)
Voucher | 1% of students eligible

65. New Hampshire’s Town Tuitioning Program (NR)
Voucher | <1% of students eligible

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