School Choice, Hoosier Style: Hope for Needy Indiana Kids & the Movement?

I’m a little slow to report on this great news to you, but here goes … Kudos to Indiana for joining the ranks of states to offer private school choice to its needy students. From the June 30 Friedman Foundation announcement:

Indiana lawmakers today approved a $2.5 million scholarship tax credit program in the home state of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. The new scholarship program was inserted into the state’s budget and won approval in the late hours of the special legislative session. The bill, which passed the Senate 34-16 and the House 61-36, was signed by the governor a couple hours later.

“The state of Indiana today joined a growing number of states that are putting the educational needs of children before partisan politics by adopting school choice programs,” said Robert Enlow, President and CEO of the Friedman Foundation….

The victory is especially sweet for national school choice champion Friedman, because the Foundation calls the Hoosier State home. So my Education Policy Center friend Pam Benigno was delighted to be able to interview Robert Enlow about the Indiana school choice victory on this new iVoices podcast (click the play button to listen):

As Dr. Greg Forster points out in an insightful new Pajamas Media column, the school choice movement has had a somewhat rough year. But put in context, the Indiana tax credit program is just the latest positive sign that not all is as bad as it seems:

Similar programs in Florida and Iowa were expanded this year. The two states have each expanded the scope of corporations who can donate to their tax-credit scholarships, which is expected to bring millions of new dollars into the programs to serve thousands more students in each state.

Georgia, which has become the nation’s leader in new school choice programs, began consideration of a universal voucher program. Every child in the state would be voucher-eligible. The bill has passed committee, and under the state’s multi-year process for legislation it will move forward for consideration by the full Senate next year.

New Jersey is also considering legislation that would create a new school choice program. And school choice legislation in Montana and Virginia got further than ever before this year, leaving the issue well positioned for future progress.

With the programs in Washington DC and Milwaukee under attack, is everything all sunshine and roses in the world of school choice? Of course not. But we’re glad to take our victories where we can.

Thanks, Indiana, and best of success.