Good Read: Why families choose school vouchers (Indy Star)

By Andrew Pillow

Indiana is experiencing an explosion in school choice initiatives. One such initiative is school vouchers. The Indy Star is running a four-part series on the school voucher program.  The second installment of which deals with the decision making process that parents and students go through when deciding to take advantage of the program.

Stephanie Wang and Chelsea Schneider of the Indy Star use the story of Zaya as an example of families opting to use the voucher system.

“When Zaya starting having troubles at Speedway, a top-rated school district, she and her mother first thought of switching to a charter school well-known for rigorous college prep and strict discipline, but they grew frustrated with the enrollment process.
At Providence Cristo Rey, a private Catholic school on Indianapolis' near west side, the Lumumbas heard that all of the students graduate with college acceptance letters. And what impressed them the most was the corporate work study program, where Zaya could intern at some of the city's largest and most prestigious companies while still in high school.
"Wow," Zakiya thought. "This school really stands out."
They soon learned that Providence Cristo Rey was within their reach. The school is specially geared toward students of economic need. The amount of money the state pays through the voucher program varies based on the school district and a family's income level, and for a low-income family can amount to several thousand dollars. Students' work study pays for $4,000. Institutional financial aid and scholarships chip away at the price, too. On average, the school said each family contributes $300 to tuition each year.
That helped make private school a more reasonable option for Zakiya, a working single mother.”

Zaya’s story is becoming more and more common. Current Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos and President Trump have already stated that they wish to increase voucher usage.

Read more about Zaya and Indianapolis’s voucher program here. (via: Indy Star)


Andrew Pillow

Andrew is a technology teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep. He is graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Teach for America Alum. Andrew just recently finished his commitment as a Teach Plus Policy fellow, and he is looking forward to putting the skills he's learned to good use. Andrew has written for several publications in the past on a wide variety of topics but will be sticking to education for his role on Indy/Ed.