Home to Milton and Rose Friedman’s Legacy Foundation, Indiana joins movement toward universal choice
Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana Legislature approved a new budget today, and in doing so, expanded the state’s school choice programs to cover 97 percent of all Hoosier students. Indiana is now the fifth state in 2023 to either create a new or expand an existing school choice program to include all or almost all students.
“We are thrilled to see Indiana take the lead among the growing number of states that have fulfilled Milton and Rose Friedman’s dream of universal choice,” said Robert Enlow, President and CEO of the Indianapolis-based EdChoice, formerly known as The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. “We are blessed to have many great policymakers who support parents, particularly House Speaker Todd Huston. Today’s victory is especially poignant given the fact that the Friedmans—the architects of the modern school choice movement—chose to establish their legacy foundation here in Indianapolis.”
Today’s vote expands student eligibility in Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program and eliminates all the various pathways previously required to participate. Additionally, the changes in the budget increase the income eligibility for Indiana’s two other choice programs, the School Scholarship Tax Credit and the Education Scholarship Account Program.
Once the changes take effect at the start of the 2023-24 school year, any child from a family of four that earns less than $222,000 annually will be able to receive a voucher to attend a school of their family’s choosing. In 2021-22, voucher amounts in Indiana were valued, on average, at $5,439, equal to 90 percent of what the state spends educating students. Currently, more than 50,000 students are utilizing Indiana’s voucher program.
“With the passage of this budget, Indiana essentially achieved universal choice, and it is now the most educational choice friendly state in the county,” stated Betsy Wiley, President and CEO of the Institute for Quality Education.
Indiana joins Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Utah, and West Virginia in providing nearly all families the opportunity to educate their children in a school or learning environment that meets their needs.
“We hailed 2021 as The Year of Educational Choice, and now we are celebrating 2023 as The Year of Universal Choice,” Enlow continued. “In 2021, many states had programs for some, but not a single one offered educational choice to all students. Today, we have seven states affording all families within their borders this fundamental liberty.”
To speak with Robert Enlow or Betsy Wiley, contact Chantal Lovell at Chantal@edchoice.org, or 989-251-8388.
EdChoice is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to empower every family to choose the learning environment that fits their children’s needs best. Learn more at edchoice.org.