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Impending voucher expansion leads group to explain program's details

Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 10:17 am

With the recent passage of voucher expansion in the Indiana General Assembly and more than 9,000 students in the state already participating in school choice programs, a nonprofit is making visits to various cities to explain how the intricate application process works.

School Choice Indiana made one such visit to St. John the Baptist, a church and school located at 4500 Fairfield Ave., on Wednesday evening, where more than 20 people heard a representative outline changes in the program since its inception, various eligibility requirements and program limitations, and provide information for further research.

Marissa Lynch, a field director for School Choice Indiana, said the nonprofit will make around 100 such informational visits and that school choice continues to interest parents.

"Parents have embraced this, perhaps even a bit more than expected," Lynch said. "People seem to like that rather than saying you have just one option based on a zip code, they can look at what's best for their children. Not every person's situation is the same."

Elise Correa, also with School Choice Indiana, explained to the assembly that 3,919 vouchers were used in 2011. Demand grew as more awareness of the option was gained, with 9,324 vouchers used in 2012.

Lynch said that it is possible 15,000 vouchers might be used in the 2013-2014 school year.

"That's kind of the big, unanswered question," Lynch said. "We haven't seen too many people who are dissatisfied with the ability to choose, so we do expect growth in the program."

Interested parents can find out more at one of two websites, www.schoolchoiceindiana.com and www.myschoolvoucher.com.