Indiana is Inspirational, But Let's Not Just Dream about More Colorado School Choice

I work hard to spread the word about options and innovations in education. But once in awhile, the summertime heat provides a great chance to sit back and dream, too. Today I dreamed that this Herald Bulletin article, “Parents have more school choices,” was appearing in a Colorado newspaper:

With an expansion approved by the Indiana Legislature, students now have more options when it comes to eligibility for vouchers. But it’s not just vouchers they have access to.

Oh, how tempted I was to go through the article and replace every reference to “Indiana” with “Colorado.” Yes, we have one of the stronger open enrollment laws in the country, and one of the most thriving charter sectors, too. You can learn about the options that do exist at the fabulous School Choice for Kids website. But there are still many students out there in need of better learning options, so “more school choices” would be great!

The story by Dani Palmer goes on to explain the four different ways an Indiana family can receive a voucher — General, Sibling, Failing School, and Special Needs — to attend a chosen private school that serves and is responsive to the student enrolled. But another program also exists:

Tax credit scholarships are available to students whose families are at least 200 percent or below federal free and reduced lunch income guidelines, and schools that receive private donations to help pay for a child’s education can set the limits lower, Martin said. Those who donate the money receive the tax credit.

The Hoosier State’s scholarship tax credit program is one of many featured in my Education Policy Center friends’ paper A Scholarship Tax Credit Program for Colorado. Check out Colorado Kids Win to learn how you can get involved in making this option available to Colorado students in need. This clever and informative 90-second video will give you the basic picture:

I understand completely the desire to dream about the educational possibilities for Colorado students and their families. But I also hope you’ll keep the reverie short, and join with me in getting to work and spreading the good word about scholarship tax credits and other opportunities to expand choice in education!