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Hope for America’s Children school choice yearbook 2010 – 11


Hope for America’s Children School Choice Yearbook 2010–11 Andrew Campanella Malcom Glenn Lauren Perry

How to Use This Yearbook The School Choice Yearbook is a compendium of the nation’s most accurate data on school voucher and scholarship tax credit programs, an analysis of trends and information regarding school choice, a directory of the accountability provisions and requirements for each program, and a chronicle of the past year’s choice-related events and activities.


Hope for America’s Children School Choice Yearbook 2010–11 An Annual Publication

Published by: Alliance for School Choice 1660 L St, NW, Suite 1000 Washington, D.C. 20036 202.280.1990

www.AllianceForSchoolChoice.org

Copyright © 2011 Alliance for School Choice. All Rights Reserved.

Authors: Andrew Campanella, Malcom Glenn, and Lauren Perry with Greg Brock, Scott Jensen, and John Schilling Book and cover design: Stacey Maloney Printed in the United States of America First Printing

Images on the cover and table of contents are courtesy of Step Up For Students. On March 24, 2010, more than 5,500 parents, children, lawmakers, and civil rights leaders gathered in Tallahassee for the nation’s largest-ever school choice rally.


Two mothers pose during a February 16, 2010, rally at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. The rally, designed to increase support for the state’s two popular private school choice programs, brought together participants from across the Peach State. Throughout this edition of the School Choice Yearbook, you will read about the transformational private school choice programs that have been enacted, expanded, and protected thanks to dedicated parents like these. It is because of the commitment of mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that private school choice is thriving across America, growing each year in the number of students served and the number of supporters recruited.


Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

table of contents

4

Table of Contents Giving Children Hope: An Introduction 

 6

What Is School Choice? 

 8

Types of School Choice Programs 

  10

Year in Review: 2010 

  14

Standing Up for School Choice 

  20

Growth and Expansion 

  24


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

5 table of contents

Research Recap 2010–11 

  28

Feature: Key Agreement on School Choice in the Keystone State 

  30

Myth vs. Reality 

  33

State Profiles and Program Accountability Provisions 

  37

School Choice Organizations 

  59

Highlight: Florida Rallies for School Choice in a Big Way 

  62

Sources and Credits 

  65


Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

giving children hope

6

Giving Children Hope: An Introduction School choice means different things to different people. To us, it means giving children hope for a brighter future by giving their parents the opportunity to choose the schools that work best for their children. School choice supporters strongly believe that educational equality is the single most important social justice issue of our time. For parents who can afford to move to neighborhoods where the public schools are strong — or for parents who can afford to send their children to private schools — school choice is widespread and is practiced frequently. For parents without these advantages, their children are often trapped in conventional public schools that fail to educate students at basic levels, year after year. As a result, America suffers from abysmal reading and math proficiency levels and is facing a dropout crisis of epidemic proportions, not to mention a persistent achievement gap between white and minority children. By the time you are done reading this page, two students will have dropped out of an American public school. By the end of the day, 3,200 other dropouts will join them. America’s children deserve better. Simply pouring more money into the already well-funded public school system won’t solve these problems. Spending on education is at a record high—with some cities spending more than $20,000 a year educating each student. According to recent surveys, a strong majority of the American public—along with a growing, bipartisan coalition of legislators—agrees that states must embrace newer, more inclusive reforms that provide immediate options for low- and middle-income children. This belief in immediate access to educational opportunity, also known as private school choice, has successfully manifested itself in 20 innovative programs over the past 20 years. Today, school voucher and scholarship tax credit programs are operating in 12 states and the District of Columbia, serving nearly 200,000 children. The School Choice Yearbook provides the most accurate, well-researched data on these programs of any resource available in America today. This award-winning reference book includes a recap of the biggest stories of 2010, school choice enrollment and state policy trends, and information on the accountability provisions in each state school choice program. More than anything else, though, it shines a spotlight on the students who benefit from school choice programs—and sounds a clarion call for the expansion of choices to students across the country.


Students participate in a rally at the Pennsylvania State Capitol  in Harrisburg   on May 5, 2010. The rally, which brought together nearly 1,500 school choice supporters, celebrated the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program. “In this day and age, it’s more important than ever that all families, regardless of income or ZIP code, have choices when considering the education of their children,” said Pennsylvania State Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola (R-Susquehanna Township), one of the state’s leading school choice advocates, at the event.


Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

what is school choice?

8

What Is School Choice? School choice puts parents in charge of their children’s education by letting them select the best schools for their children, public or private. Some parents exercise school choice when they decide to move to a certain city or neighborhood because of the quality of the traditional public schools there or the presence of innovative public charter schools. Other parents—those who can afford it—send their children to high-quality private schools. Many low-income and middle-class families simply cannot afford to move to better neighborhoods or pay for private school tuition—on top of the money they already pay in taxes to support public school systems. School choice advocates believe that all children should have the opportunity to go to better schools—right away—through access to private schools via opportunity scholarships (most commonly called school vouchers), special needs scholarship programs, and scholarship tax credit programs. While this book focuses on those three reforms in particular, advocates also believe that states should eliminate barriers preventing the growth of high-quality charter schools, virtual schools, online learning options, and home schooling. Types of School Choice *

School Vouchers

Voucher programs give children (usually low-income children, children in failing schools, or children with special needs) greater access to high-quality private schools. In voucher programs, education dollars “follow the child,” and parents select private schools and receive state-funded scholarships to pay tuition.

Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

Scholarship tax credit programs provide families with greater access to high-quality private schools by providing incentives for corporations and individual taxpayers to get involved in the business of improving education. In these programs, companies and individuals get tax credits for donating to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships for children to attend private schools.

Public Charter Schools

Charter schools provide essential choices to parents and children. Charters are public schools, run by educators, members of the community, universities, or other bodies that are permitted to innovate and develop specialized educational programs for students without the bureaucracy that often plagues traditional public schools. States with strong charter school laws allow these schools to operate with a level of autonomy, so that they can avoid heavy bureaucracy.

*  This is not an exhaustive list of school choice options. Parents can also exercise school choice through public magnet schools, inter- and intra-district public school choice, virtual schools, and by homeschooling their children.


Mother Patricia William prepares to distribute school supplies to low-income students who participate in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program at a August 28, 2010 event.


types of school choice programs

10

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Types of School Choice Programs School choice programs are primarily developed, implemented, and regulated by states, not by the federal government.* Depending on the needs of a particular state — and depending on interpretations of a state’s constitution — legislators may choose to enact school voucher programs, scholarship tax credit programs, or both. While voucher programs and tax credit programs are similar — in that deserving children are provided with an immediate opportunity to attend the schools of their parents’ choice — these programs vary significantly in their funding mechanisms. As this section indicates, even within the two types of programs, options exist for policymakers to tailor school choice initiatives to the needs of their state. Opportunity Scholarships & School Vouchers Opportunity scholarship programs (most commonly called school vouchers) allow disadvantaged children to receive state-funded scholarships to attend the schools of their parents’ choice. These programs provide crucial options to children who too often are forced to attend failing schools. In voucher programs, education dollars “follow the child,” allowing parents to use a portion of the state funds allocated for their child’s education to pay tuition at an approved private school. There are several types of voucher programs: »» Means-tested (or means-preferenced) voucher programs are targeted to low-income families who meet specific income criteria, typically around 185 percent of the federal poverty guideline. Four programs of this kind are currently operating. OH WI LA † DC »» Failing schools voucher programs are targeted to children who attend low-performing public schools. Two programs of this kind are currently operating. OH LA »» Special needs scholarship programs are targeted to children with special educational needs. Typically, they require the student to have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to qualify. Six programs of this kind are currently operating. FL GA LA OK OH UT »» Foster child voucher programs are targeted to children in foster care who, because of their frequent changes in address, are often forced to change schools many times over the course of their K–12 education. Although several states have considered such proposals, no programs of this kind are currently operating. * The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is the only federally funded private school choice program operating in the country today. † Louisiana's SSEE Program is both a means-tested voucher program and a failing schools voucher program.


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

11

Program

Year Enacted

Students in 2010-11

Funds Expended in 2010-11

Florida

McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

1999

21,054

$152,000,000

Georgia

Special Needs Scholarship Program

2007

2,550

$15,991,050

Louisiana

Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence

2008

1,697

$7,800,000

Ohio

Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program

1995

5,264

$17,600,000

Ohio

Autism Scholarship Program

2003

1,672

$31,000,000

Ohio

Educational Choice Scholarship

2005

13,195

$58,000,000

Oklahoma

Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program

2010

10

$114,864

Utah

Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship

2005

624

$3,297,781

Wisconsin

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

1990

20,189

$130,800,000

Washington, D.C.

D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

2004

1,012

$8,206,200

67,267

$424,809,895

Total

Scholarship Tax Credit Programs Scholarship tax credit programs provide state tax credits to businesses and individuals that donate money to scholarship funds that help children attend the private schools of their parents’ choice. Rather than being operated by the government, these scholarship programs are run by nonprofit, tax-exempt, scholarship-granting organizations. The scholarships do not originate from state appropriations but from private charitable donations made under the provisions of the tax code. Accordingly, they are not funded by public agencies. Scholarship-granting organizations use their own criteria for distributing scholarship monies to eligible students. States monitor these organizations to ensure financial accountability. Depending on the state, these organizations are referred to as Scholarship Organizations (SOs), School Tuition Organizations (STOs), Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs), Student Scholarship Organizations (SSOs), or Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFOs).

types of school

State

programs

Voucher Programs in the United States

year in review: 2009 choice

»» GI Junior voucher programs are targeted to children in military families, who often live on bases or in areas with high concentrations of failing schools. Although several states have considered such proposals, no programs of this kind are currently operating. »» Universal voucher programs allow all children, regardless of their family income, where they live, or any other criteria, to participate. These programs can be means-preferenced so that lower-income families receive larger vouchers. Although several states have considered such proposals, no programs of this kind are currently operating.


12

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice »» Nine scholarship tax credit programs are currently operating, with Arizona offering three separate programs. AZ FL GA IN IA PA RI

types of school choice programs

»» Frequently, laws require that eligible families meet certain income criteria. These programs are known as means-tested or means-preferenced scholarship tax credit programs. There are seven programs of this kind currently operating. AZ FL IN IA PA RI »» One newer form of scholarship tax credit programs is designed for children with special needs or children in foster care. There is one program of this kind currently operating. AZ

Scholarship Tax Credit Programs in the United States State

Program

Year Enacted

Students in 2010-11

Funds Expended or Donated in 2010-11

Arizona

Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

1997

27,476

$52,091,718

Arizona

Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

2006

3,626

$7,881,787

Arizona

Lexie’s Law

2009

145

$625,335

Florida

Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program

2001

32,946

$140,000,000

Georgia

Corporate & Individual Scholarship Tax Credit

2008

6,125

$24,500,000

Indiana

Corporate & Individual Scholarship Tax Credit

2009

219

$435,050

Iowa

Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

2006

10,208

$10,839,257

Pennsylvania

Educational Improvement Tax Credit

2001

42,339

$51,800,000

Rhode Island

Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit

2006

460

$1,254,376

123,544

$289,427,523

Total


In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of certain provisions in Arizona’s Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit Program in the Winn v. Garriott case. After the November 3, 2010, arguments, Institute for Justice attorney Dick Komer (left) joined client Glenn Dennard for a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. In total, Arizona’s highly popular school choice programs serve more than 31,000 primarily disadvantaged children.


14

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

year in review: 2010

Year in Review: 2010 After a challenging 2009, school choice advocates from across the country rebounded in 2010, with the movement emerging as a stronger grassroots, policy, and political force poised to bring about dramatic change in 2011 and beyond. More than anything, the past year showcased the resilience of the school choice movement. Despite staggering state budget deficits, double-digit unemployment, and a national economic climate that has yet to fully rebound, school choice ceded no ground in 2010. In fact, several key programs were expanded last year, other programs were strengthened, student enrollment in school choice programs grew by more than 4 percent, and two new school choice programs were signed into law with bipartisan support. Late in the year, a political earthquake—the election of hundreds, if not thousands, of school choice supporters to statehouses and governorships across the country—foretold an even brighter 2011. Key states, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, saw school choice supporters elected to governor’s offices and to state legislatures—and scores of additional states, including Indiana, New Mexico, and North Carolina, saw unprecedented movement in favor of school choice in the 2010 elections. Florida Makes History In a stunning demonstration of the school choice movement’s bipartisan appeal, Florida lawmakers in 2010 changed the educational landscape of the Sunshine State by expanding the state’s scholarship tax credit program from $118 million to $140 million. In addition, the legislation allows the program’s funding to grow by 25 percent if 90 percent of the scholarship cap was reached in a previous year. The increase is expected to benefit tens of thousands of low-income children over the course of the next decade. The dramatic expansion of the highly popular program took place after 5,500 supporters, led by Step Up for Students and allies ­— including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (Hispanic CREO)—marched on Tallahassee to demand reform. The March 24 event was the largestever rally in the history of the school choice movement. At the event, Hispanic CREO unveiled a new Florida-based group, CHISPA, the Coalition of Hispanic Instructors in Support of Parental Awareness, a group of public school educators in support of private scholarships for low-income children.


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

15

year in review: 2010

Students and parents gather for a February 16, 2010, rally in Atlanta, Georgia.

Arizona Program Heads to U.S. Supreme Court In November 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court heard dramatic arguments regarding the constitutionality of certain scholarship tax credit programs. School choice advocates, with the support of nine states and dozens of civic organizations, argued that the program in question — Arizona’s Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit Program — provides an open market of high-quality educational options to families. The Institute for Justice has led the legal defense of the program and the Alliance for School Choice (along with other organizations) filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the program’s continuation. The ACLU disagrees. They’ve fought the program for more than 10 years, finding a receptive audience with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Supreme Court’s decision is expected early in 2011. Meanwhile, Arizona passed significant new accountability measures—supported by the Alliance for School Choice and other organizations—to ensure that the state’s programs provide the highest level of transparency and openness to parents and taxpayers. Ohio, Louisiana Exceed Enrollment Goals There’s no greater proof of the popularity of school choice programs than the growing number of parents who are applying to send their children to private schools using vouchers and scholarship tax credits. In two states this year — Ohio and Louisiana — dramatic increases in student enrollment led to school choice programs meeting their student enrollment caps. After a television news coverage blitz — and an advertising campaign by the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and the Alliance for School Choice — more than 2,000 parents in New Orleans, Louisiana, applied to send their children to private schools.  


Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

year in review: 2010

section two

16

Louisiana parents enroll their children in the highly popular Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence (SSEE) program in New Orleans.

The surge in demand led advocates to return to the legislature to request — successfully — an additional $1 million to meet demand. In Ohio, more than 14,000 parents applied for EdChoice scholarships. Interest was fueled by dozens of stories in the news media and a coordinated enrollment campaign by School Choice Ohio and BAEO. Now, Governor John Kasich—who ousted anti-school choice Governor Ted Strickland in the 2010 elections—is fighting to lift the successful program’s cap. In addition, in 2010, Florida reached its $140 million cap for issuing scholarship tax credits to low-income children, a remarkable achievement given that the program’s expansion took place in April. Pennsylvania Rebounds as School Choice Leader In a year when Republicans and Democrats barely agreed on anything, Pennsylvania’s candidates for governor demonstrated refreshing bipartisan agreement on one core issue: school choice. Encouraged by State Senator Anthony H. Williams (D-Philadelphia), Representative Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia), and other key supporters of educational equality, the Democratic candidate for governor, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, joined his Republican opponent, Attorney General Tom Corbett, in forcefully supporting school vouchers for low-income children. While the candidates for the state’s top job talked about enhancing school choice, the legislature restored the state’s existing private school choice program, the popular Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC), to full funding.


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

17

New Congressional Leaders Pledge Support for D.C.’s Scholarship Program Just when many in the news media had all but issued the final obituary for the embattled D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, the 2010 midterm congressional elections breathed new life into the program, buoying the spirits of program supporters in both parties. Even though the program significantly increased student graduation rates and boasted over-the-top parental satisfaction results, some House and Senate leaders—along with the Obama administration — were determined to end the program, ignoring the pleas of city leaders and parents in the nation’s capital.

New Jersey Raises the Stakes for School Choice From the Sunday morning talk shows to YouTube, America has grown impressed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s no-nonsense style. Thankfully for children in the Garden State, the action-oriented former federal prosecutor is a staunch school choice supporter. When Governor Christie gave his first education policy address — to the American Federation for Children’s National Policy Summit in May 2010 — he affirmed his belief that passing the Opportunity Scholarship Act (OSA) would be a top priority of his new administration.

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner meets with parent supporters of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program at the U.S. Capitol in November 2010.

year in review: 2010

Now, Speaker John Boehner and a bipartisan group of Senators, led by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are fighting harder than ever before to restore and expand the program. Parents remain optimistic and have gathered multiple times to reiterate their willingness to fight for the program—even meeting with Speaker Boehner. These Congressional leaders vow swift action in 2011 to restore and expand the program.


Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

year in review: 2010

section two

18

Students, parents, and lawmakers gathered at a rally and legislative hearing in Trenton, New Jersey, on May 13, 2010.

If passed — and watchers say that 2011 might be the year — the Opportunity Scholarship Act will be a true bipartisan victory. State Senator Ray Lesniak (D-Union) is one of the key sponsors of the bill. When representatives of the state’s teachers union refused to give children seats in a hearing room to watch a Senate committee debate the OSA, Lesniak moved the hearing outdoors, where 1,500 advocates were rallying for school choice. It was one of the most talked-about events of the year. Special Needs Programs Thrive Despite Economic Challenges Children with special needs continue to find friends from both parties in statehouses across the country. In 2010, enrollment in the nation’s five special needs scholarship programs—which range from school voucher programs to scholarship tax credit programs— increased by 3.5 percent, despite turbulent economic times. Last year, these programs were joined by two new initiatives, special needs voucher programs in Louisiana and Oklahoma. Despite misplaced opposition by school districts, Democratic Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program Act into law in June 2010. The legislation, named after the governor’s late daughter—who died as an infant from Werdnig-Hoffman Disease—does not place a cap on the number of special needs vouchers that can be issued in the state. In Louisiana, the nation’s seventh special needs scholarship program was signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal after passing both houses of the legislature with significant bipartisan support. The two-year pilot program benefits children in the state’s parishes (counties) with populations of 190,000 people or more. The new law will assist children in kindergarten through eighth grade who have autism, developmental delay, or other specific learning disorders.


Christian Cunningham, a student participant in Arizona’s Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit program, paints an American flag. Arizona’s school choice programs received a significant boost in 2010 when Governor Jan Brewer signed legislation providing for more transparency in school tuition organization operations, making it easier for advocates to glean positive information about student outcomes.


20

feature

standing up for school choice

Standing Up “A single mother in Newark, working two jobs to keep a roof over her child’s head, should have no less of an ability to make the [same] choice [as me]. Her child’s life is no less precious than ours. Her child’s future is no less promising than ours.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

for

“Fortunately, I could afford to pay for my son to go to a private school. But then I thought about all those parents who could not afford what I was able to give my child. I think that all children should be able to be educated in an environment where it gives them the opportunity to maximize their potential.” Florida Representative Gwyn Clarke-Reed (D-Deerfield Beach)

“When I got involved in school choice, I realized all the things that we know work for kids: higher standards, better accountability, higherquality teachers, more time on task…school choice and options for parents give you an opportunity to provide all of those things.” Alliance for School Choice Board Member Kevin P. Chavous

“Florida faces a projected talent gap that most certainly will endanger our place in the global economy. Without an educated work force, jobs will go elsewhere. We must urgently do a better job of preparing our children for their futures. School choice helps provide an important solution.” Florida Senator Anitere Flores (R-Miami) “When I heard about the opportunity for a scholarship program becoming available, and the possibility of having vouchers for young people, I said, ‘That’s as American as apple pie.’ We want to make sure that every young person in this country, along with his or her family, has a right to choose the kind of education that’s best for them.” Bruce Stewart, former head of school, Sidwell Friends School, Washington, D.C.

“We got into this movement because we thought fighting for parental choice was the right thing to do. And sometimes in politics, you just have to do the right thing.” Oklahoma Representative Jabar Shumate (D-Tulsa)


feature

21

School choice supporters come from all parties, all backgrounds, and all perspectives. Take a look at what some of America’s leading state and national policymakers and opinion leaders have said about school choice in 2010.

School Choice standing up for school choice

“People are camping out to get these scholarships. Whenever you have choice, it’s a good thing. It breeds competition. Our customers are our children and our families. We have to do whatever we can to increase the level of support we are giving our children.” Louisiana Representative Austin Badon (D-New Orleans)

“Every day, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is giving low-income children new hope that they can receive the same high-quality education as their more affluent peers, rather than stay trapped in chronically underperforming schools.” U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner

“I believe in public schools, private schools, charter schools, magnet schools, online schools. I don’t care how a child gets educated, as long as they get educated. That’s what I believe in.” Roland Martin, CNN Analyst and Syndicated Columnist

“My philosophy when it comes to education is parents ought to have as many options as possible—whether public or private. But the establishment is just opposed to change and wants the status quo, period.” Georgia Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell)


22

feature

> Parents Know Best

Want to know how school choice is making a difference in the lives of children? Ask the parents who credit school choice programs with improving their children’s lives and giving them new hope for a brighter future.

standing up for school choice

“As a single parent of four adopted children, school choice means to me a very safe place to send my children. As a parent, it’s very important for me to choose a school that’s perfect for my children, to get them educated enough that they will be very good citizens, go to college, and get the best jobs they can.” Joe Kelley, father, Washington, D.C.

“D.C. public schools were failing my daughter. She was failing in math. She now excels in math. It’s become her strong subject. When the question arises at the school she currently attends, about ‘the student who has the greatest potential,’ Shawnee’s name comes up every time.” Sheila Jackson, mother, Washington, D.C.

“With the choice program, I can send my child to the school of my choice. He’s learning on his level. The discipline is more stable. Anyone who’s against the program, I advise them to visit a private school versus a public school. Every child should have this opportunity, this chance to excel.” Angelique Morris, mother, New Orleans, Louisiana

“I am blind and am solely financially supporting my daughter. She is a normal child in every aspect except that she has a diagnosed generalized anxiety disorder…Tax credits are sure helpful in keeping my child in a smaller school with less children in each class.” Susan Schaffer, mother, Arizona

“The return on this investment is priceless. [My son’s school] has taught him about pride, something he never felt before at the school he had attended since kindergarten. He now gets one-on-one attention at his new school, and his grades show it. And I should tell you I’m hard on grades.” Kimberly McGregor, mother, Florida

“One of my sons was so verbally abused in public school that he became physically sick each morning at the thought of going to school. I would present a strong front as I sent him down the front walk with tears in his eyes, and then fall apart with the click of the front door. The Carson Smith Scholarship [for students with disabilities] enables my son to attend a school where he can reach his full potential. I don’t feel I exaggerate when I say that Carson Smith gave him back his life.” Scotti Hanson, mother, Utah “I grew up very poor, and my parents didn’t have the means or the money to better my education. That’s why I want so much more for my daughter. I want to give her something I never was able to get, and that was a good education. EdChoice has made all that possible.” Tracey Graham, mother, Ohio


New Jersey State Senators Ray Lesniak (D-Union, at podium) and Tom Kean (R-Union, at left) are joined by Reverend Reginald Jackson (at right), executive director of the Black Ministers Council of New Jersey, and Pastor Therman Evans (at rear), board member of Excellent Education for Everyone (E3), before a May 13, 2010, hearing on the proposed Opportunity Scholarship Act. Most of the major newspapers in the greater New Jersey region editorialized in support of the legislation. “School choice is a civil rights issue,” wrote The Trentonian. “Parents with children whose futures are at stake can be forgiven for having run out of patience with reassurances that a glorious turnaround of their children’s failing schools is just over the horizon…For these parents, real hope to replace the years of false hope is long overdue.”


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Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Growth and Expansion Twenty years after the creation of the first publicly-funded private school choice program in America, there are now 20 school choice programs in 12 states and the District of Columbia serving nearly 200,000 children.

growth and expansion

The past year saw, despite dramatic budget deficits in states across the nation and economic challenges for donors to tax credit programs, a steady 4 percent increase in student enrollment in private school choice programs. This yields a 75 percent increase in enrollment over the course of five years (from 2005–06 to 2010–11). In 2010, two new private school choice programs were signed into law—in Oklahoma and Louisiana. No programs saw a decrease in funding, and, in fact, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana saw funding for school choice programs increase as a result of legislation. Of the 20 private school choice programs in operation, 11 are school voucher programs and nine are scholarship tax credit programs. Seven programs are specifically designed to assist children with special needs. 2010–11 School Choice Data at a Glance* Overall: States with Private School Choice Programs States with Voucher Programs

12 + D.C. 7 + D.C.

States with Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

7

States with Special Needs Scholarship Programs

7

Overall: Number of Private School Choice Programs

20

Number of Voucher Programs

11

Number of Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

9

Number of Special Needs Scholarship Programs (Vouchers and Tax Credits)

7

Overall: Number of Students in Private School Choice Programs

190,811

Number of Students in Voucher Programs

67,267

Number of Students in Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

123,544

Number of Students in Special Needs Scholarship Programs (Vouchers and Tax Credits) Overall: Funds Allocated/Donated for Private School Choice Programs

26,055 $714 million

Overall: Funds Allocated for Voucher Programs

$425 million

Overall: Funds Allocated for Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

$289 million

Overall: Funds Allocated for Special Needs Scholarship Programs (Vouchers and Tax Credits)

$211 million

Overall: Average Scholarship Amount in Private School Choice Programs

$3,741

Average Scholarship Amount in Voucher Programs

$6,318

Average Scholarship Amount in Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

$2,339

Average Scholarship Amount in Special Needs Scholarship Programs (Vouchers and Tax Credits)

$8,098

* Information in the subsections is not intended to add up to the numbers in the orange summary boxes. For example, some states have vouchers AND tax credit programs. Funding/student data for special needs scholarships is ALSO included in the data for vouchers and tax credit programs.


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

25

Recent Student Enrollment Growth in Targeted School Choice Programs 200,000

190,811 182,608

180,000

171,478 158,725

160,000 140,000 126,519 120,000

108,705 96,528

100,000

90,613 81,524

80,000 55,373

60,000 29,003

40,000

0 2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Growth in States with Private School Choice Programs OK

13

IN

IN

12

LA

LA

LA

11

GA

GA

GA

GA

10

IA

IA

IA

IA

IA

9

RI

RI

RI

RI

RI

8

UT

UT

UT

UT

UT

UT

7

DC

DC

DC

DC

DC

DC

DC

6

PA

PA

PA

PA

PA

PA

PA

PA

PA

PA

5

fl

fl

fl

fl

fl

fl

fl

fl

fl

fl

fl

fl

4

az

az

az

az

az

az

az

az

az

az

az

az

az

az

3

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

WI

2007

2008

2009

2010

1

WI

2006

2

2005

oh

2004

oh

2003

oh

2002

oh

2001

oh

2000

oh

1999

oh

1998

oh

1997

oh

1996

oh

1995

oh

1994

oh

1993

oh

1992

oh

1991

oh

1990

oh

growth and expansion

20,000


26

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice States with Targeted Private School Choice Programs

Washington Montana Oregon

Maine

North Dakota Minnesota

Idaho

Vt. Wisconsin

South Dakota

New York

Wyoming

Michigan Nebraska

Pennsylvania

Iowa

Nevada

Illinois

Utah

Ohio

Indiana

Maryland West Virginia

Colorado

California

Kansas

Kentucky North Carolina

Oklahoma

Arizona

Tennessee

South Carolina

Arkansas

New Mexico Georgia

Mississippi Louisiana

Alabama

Texas

Florida

growth and expansion

Alaska

Hawaii

20 Private School Choice Programs 12 11

10

9 6 Special Needs 1 Special Needs / Foster

8

6 8 General 4 5 General 2

0 Vouchers

Conn. R.I.

New Jersey Delaware

Washington, DC

Virginia

Missouri

N.H.

Mass.

Scholarship Tax Credits


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

27

2010–11 Scholarship Recipients by State 0

5,000

10,000

15,000

20,000

25,000

30,000

35,000

40,000

45,000

Pennsylvania

42,339

Arizona

31,247

Wisconsin

20,189

Ohio

20,131

Georgia

8,675

Louisiana

1,697

Washington, D.C.

1,012

624

Utah

Oklahoma

460

219

10

growth and expansion

10,208

Iowa

Indiana

55,000

54,000

Florida

Rhode Island

50,000


28

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Research Recap 2010–11 Milwaukee Voucher Students Outperform Children Nationally Students who receive vouchers from the nation’s oldest school voucher program—the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP)—perform as well or better than their peers nationwide who are in similar socioeconomic strata on standardized tests.

research recap

MPCP students in fourth grade performed 25 percent higher in national percentile rank in reading and 54 percent higher in science than their similarly disadvantaged peers. Eighth grade students tested 33 percent higher in national percentile rank in reading, 32 percent higher in math, and 68 percent higher in science than their similarly disadvantaged peers. Results from the School Choice Demonstration Project’s Milwaukee Longitudinal School Choice Evaluation said, “As shown by the comparison with the [National Assessment of Educational Progress] percentile ranks, students in the MPCP are performing at higher levels than similar lowincome students in large cities in the U.S..” D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program Improves Graduation Rates Just as the federal government prepared to shutter the highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, the U.S. Department of Education in June 2010 revealed, through an official report, that the program yielded student graduation rates of 91 percent, which is 21 percent higher than graduation rates of children who did not use scholarships. Students who would have attended failing schools — if not for the scholarship program — significantly benefited. “The offer of a scholarship improved the graduation prospects by 13 percentage points for the high-priority group of students from schools designated [Schools in Need of Improvement] in 2003–05,” the Institute of Education Sciences study said. Researchers said that in addition to increasing graduation rates and parental satisfaction, the program also directly led to improvements at 28 percent of the district’s conventional public schools. Florida Tax Credit Students Advance Academically, and So Do Public School Peers The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program increases achievement for participating students, according to a June 2010 state report. According to a study commissioned by the Florida Department of Education and conducted by researcher David Figlio of Northwestern University, the program attracts students who encounter significant academic problems in public schools.


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

29

Despite this, the report found that tax credit students demonstrated academic gains consistent with all students across the country—not just those from low-income families. In addition, researchers found that 95.4 percent of tax credit program parents were satisfied with their children’s schools, rating the schools as “excellent” or “good.” A separate report by Figlio (praised in The Tampa Tribune editorial reprinted below) found that the creation of the program in 2001 “led to general improvements in public school performance.”

JUNE 19, 2010 TAMPA, FLORIDA | SATURDAY,

ols o h Sc c li b u P s st o o B n io it et p Com Editorial

in Tallahassee on a Dur ing a debate last Febr uary ram that allows prog ip larsh proposal to expa nd a scho ols, state Sen. scho ate priv to go poor children to lation. Frederic a Wilson decr ied the legis

rded Nor thwestern A recent study by a high ly rega wrong Wilson was. Universit y researcher show s how the Legi slatu re that Flor ida voters are fortu nate ed it into law. sign t Cris rlie passed the bill and Gov. Cha ols’ performance The study found public scho the possibility of with d face were they n improved whe losing students to priv ate schools. it Scholarsh ips, At issue is the Flor ida Tax Cred poor fam ilies. from dren chil to which prov ide vouchers receive a tax cred it Under the prog ram, compan ies ip fund s, so state by cont ributing to the scholarsh the vouchers. dollars are not directly used for essor Dav id Figl io The study conducted by prof Cred it Scholarsh ip Tax the of found that the passage test score gain s ized dard stan to led prog ram in 2001 y to lose students to in the public schools most likel priv ate schools. The improvements were sma ll

but consistent.

ra Har t wrote, “The Figl io and co-author Cassand improvements in ed raliz gene rved fact that we obse to the competitive school performance in response a state with rapid in threats of school vouchers, even

* Reprinted with permission

y that found duri ng Last year Figl io over saw a stud larsh ip recipient s scho ram prog the the first year of ents in public schools. performed as well as simi lar stud found the prog ram More importa ntly, his study were among the who ents was being utili zed by stud lenged in the chal cally emi acad poorest and most public schools. om of the adopted All this underscores the wisd ent awa rd from stud per bill. It gradually increases the given to public unt amo the of 60 perc ent to 80 perc ent . school students $118 mill ion cap The mea sure also removed the the prog ram can be on how much can be spent, so s increase. tion ribu expa nded as corporate cont y prov ision s the Less noted were the accountabilit l reviews and ncia fina ding inclu ted, legislation enac that accept scholarsh ip test-score reports from schools students. option to attend Givi ng struggli ng students the cost s on the and sses stre ces priv ate schools redu e report estimated public school system. A legislativ taxpayer s $39 mill ion the corporate scholarsh ips save rwise spend about othe ld a year because the state wou federal and loca l n Whe ent. stud $7,0 00 a year on each re is $12,000. taxes are also included, the figu ip prog ram is to The primary goal of the scholarsh Figl io’s find ings But ces. give poor students more choi ce, competition mer com in as n, indicate in educ atio . ance orm improves perf

research recap

the public schools “We’re taki ng children out of mi Democrat said. Mia and mak ing them wea ker,” the “Th is is not America .”

strong evidence that populat ion grow th, prov ides ts else where.” effec voucher competition may have


30

feature

>  Key Agreement on School Choice in the Keystone State “Students have a right to attend a good school and not be forced to attend a failing one by virtue of their ZIP code.”

feature

Governor Tom Corbett In a stunning development that made national headlines, last year’s gubernatorial election in Pennsylvania presented voters with a set of candidates who disagreed on pretty much everything—except for school choice. In fact, both candidates—Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato (D)— publicly endorsed vouchers for low-income children as key components of their respective education plans. The watershed development came in a state that already boasts the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program, the first tax credit scholarship program in the country aimed at corporations. Nearly a decade after passing the EITC with large bipartisan majorities, Pennsylvanians were guaranteed that their next chief executive (Corbett ultimately won the election) would be in favor of expanding school choice options throughout the state. In a signal of a shift toward stronger support for school choice, both candidates appeared at a Philadelphia summit— arranged by Students First Pennsylvania, an aggressive new education reform organization—to demand improvements in the state’s education system. The news media reported that the historic agreement, and the joint appearance, was largely made possible by State Senator Anthony H. Williams, a Philadelphia Democrat and onetime candidate for governor. Williams made school choice the hallmark of his campaign

and was later instrumental in convincing Onorato to back vouchers as well. Since taking office, Governor Tom Corbett has continued to declare his support for school choice. A bipartisan coalition of state legislators has already introduced new legislation this year that would authorize vouchers, and a statewide poll of residents taken after the election showed majority support for school choice in some form. School choice advocates are hoping the election, and its aftermath, will mean good things for education reform not only in the Keystone State, but across the country. Pennsylvania’s reputation as an independent-minded swing state is poised to help it set trends nationally, where other chief executives and their legislators will be debating school choice initiatives. And in the face of significant budget crunches nationwide, there is both a moral and a fiscal imperative to entertain opportunities for expanded educational options. “Our education system must contend with other nations and so we must embrace innovation, competition, and choice in our education system,” Corbett said in his inaugural address, signaling that dramatic change would soon come to the Keystone State. As for Onorato, he has strong backing to run for a third term as county executive.

Senator Anthony H. Williams, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, then-Attorney General Tom Corbett, and Students First Chairman Joe Watkins


feature

Daily News

Phila de lp hi a

THE PEO PLE PAPER

31

se ptem be r 14, 2010

Corbet t and Onorato

Cour t School Choice

Advocate

s And the wi nner of the May 18 pri ma ry ele ction s for gover nor Sen. Anthony Ha rdy is...st ate Wi llia ms of West Ph ila delph ia. Wi llia ms did wi n the Democratic n’t ac tua lly pri ma ry— he fin ished thi rd out of fou r ca nd he successf ully injec idates —but ted the issue of schoo l vouchers into the gu debate. bernatoria l Proof of that ca me wh en the pri ma ry wi nn ers, state Attorney Ge Corbett for the Repu neral Tom blica ns and Alleg heny County Exec utive Da for the Democrats, tol n Onorato d school choice advo cates today that they concept” leg islation support “in Wi llia ms is now pu sh ing in the state Senate tha among other educ ati t would, on reform s, allow pu blic school money to school tuition. pay for private

hers Onorato suppor ts school vouc candidate gubernator ial Democratic pted a ado Dan Onorato on Wed nesday form, plat l’s controversial plan k of a riva chers vou ol openly suppor ting a form of scho for the first time. at City Onorato, in a new s con ference lowgive ld Hal l, embraced “gra nts that wou ed ress dist ly income fam ilies in academ ical

for low-income fam ilie s

about which com mun ities direct choices nd.” schools thei r children should atte lic suppor t His stance earned him the pub Wil liam s (D., of State Sen. Ant hony Hardy ol choice as a Phi la.), who pushed for scho tic primary. candidate in the May Democra and, perhaps, Wil liam s can offer politica l his former powerfu l fina ncia l suppor t for opponent.

feature

August 1 2 , 2 010


A student participates in a February 26, 2010, rally at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City in support of the Carson Smith Scholarship Program. The program, now one of seven special needs scholarship programs in the country, serves more than 600 students. “Since we started this legislative action years ago, Carson has started talking some, reading beginning books, and doing first grade math. We are so excited for every single thing he learns. It’s a huge celebration for us when he is able to do something new,” said Cheryl Smith, Carson Smith’s mother. The program was named after Carson Smith, a child with autism, in 2005. The program has a parental satisfaction rate of 100 percent, according to a state report.


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

33

Myth vs. Reality In their efforts to preserve the status quo and protect their political power, opponents spend a lot of money perpetuating myths about school choice. Take a few minutes and read the truth about how private school choice programs are giving children across the country hope for a brighter future.

myth “School choice drains funds from public schools.” reality School choice helps public schools. Studies have consistently demonstrated that public schools benefit from the existence of voucher and tax credit scholarship programs. In addition, with many private school choice programs, school districts actually retain a portion of the funding for each child who leaves the public system — even though the district no longer has to educate the student.

myth “Private school choice violates the separation between church and state.” reality The U.S. Supreme Court and numerous state supreme courts have ruled that

appropriately designed private school choice programs are fully constitutional.

reality School choice is truly a bipartisan issue. Prominent Democratic and Independent supporters of private school choice include Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Joseph Lieberman, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, Louisiana State Representative Austin Badon, Florida State Representative Gwyn Clarke-Reed, and Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony H. Williams.

myth “Students don’t learn more because of school choice.” reality When you look at the credible research available on several school choice

programs in places like Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., Florida, and Cleveland, you will see that students who participate in these programs produce higher academic achievement or attainment than their peers in public schools. Parent satisfaction is extremely high, and students love their new schools.

myth vs. reality

myth “School choice is just a Republican, right-wing issue.”


34

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

myth “There is no accountability in school choice programs.” reality The vast majority of private schools and private school choice programs have rigorous evaluation criteria. Schools also have to qualify for participation in most school choice programs. School choice advocates also support smart accountability provisions in state laws—such as fair testing and program assessment—to ensure that the academic successes of students are measured and reported.

myth “The problem with private school choice is that it discriminates against children with special needs and / or children from low-income families.”

reality The people who run private schools want to help children, especially disadvantaged children and children with disabilities. Many private schools are built just to help children and families who are most in need. Several successful private school choice programs are designed specifically to provide much-needed support to children with special needs, and most other school choice programs focus on children from low-income families. Moreover, each of the 20 programs operating in America today require that schools adhere to nondiscrimination, civil rights, or accreditation statutes to protect children.

myth “School choice means abandoning public schools.” reality Public schools are an integral part of American society and, in many cases, offer a quality education for our children. But when public schools don’t work—or don’t work for your child—don’t you deserve another option? In reality, school choice does not always mean that people have to choose private or religious schools. Public schools, including charter schools, are an important part of the school choice movement. The school choice movement seeks access to better schools for children, whether traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools, or virtual schools.

myth vs. reality

myth “School choice hurts (or is opposed by) teachers.” reality No matter where students are being educated, there will always be a need for high-quality teachers. And more choices in schools also means more choices for teachers. School choice could likely lead to more teaching jobs as schools hire more teachers to lower class sizes to make their schools more attractive to students and parents. And studies demonstrate that a plurality of public school teachers actually support well-designed school choice programs.

myth “School choice allows the best students to abandon the public schools.” reality Students who are doing poorly in public schools are most likely to take advantage of school choice programs. Generally, students who succeed in a public school see no need to switch schools. Studies also demonstrate that most parents—regardless of their income— make good choices when provided with school options. Interestingly, many public officials who oppose school choice on the grounds that it means “abandoning the public schools” send their very own children to private schools or to some other school of choice.


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

35

Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony H. Williams (D-Philadelphia) speaks during a 2010 event held by the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). A key supporter of school choice, Williams, along with State Representative Dwight Evans (D-Pennsylvania) and others, has fought to make private school choice a bipartisan issue in the Keystone State. During the 2010 campaign, Pennsylvania received national attention when both candidates for governor — with the urging of Williams — forcefully supported expanding school choice programs in the state.

myth vs. reality


The Brooks family participates in the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence (SSEE) program in New Orleans. The highly popular SSEE program, which reached its enrollment cap in 2010, is considered a lifeline for students who otherwise would attend failing New Orleans Public Schools. “Who in their right mind would oppose giving parents such a choice?” asked Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in his 2010 book, Leadership and Crisis. “School choice takes many forms — vouchers, tax credits, charters, student scholarships, and transfers to better schools…I support whatever works, depending on the needs of the community.”


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

37

State Profiles: Data Updates & Program Accountability Provisions Arizona 

  38–40

Florida 

  41–42

Georgia 

  43–44

Indiana 

  45

Iowa 

  46

Louisiana 

  47–48

Ohio 

  49–51

Oklahoma 

  52

Pennsylvania 

  53

Rhode Island 

  54

Utah 

  55

Wisconsin 

  56

Washington, D.C. 

  57

The following pages contain data and research regarding each of the publicly funded private school choice programs operating in the United States. The information on these pages was generated through rigorous research into state laws and regulations, updated most recently in February 2011. Enrollment and expenditure data was provided by state officials, who were contacted on several occasions by Alliance researchers for information, clarification, and updates. In instances when this information was not available from a state agency or organization, numbers were estimated —using historical averages and trend data — by Alliance for School Choice researchers in collaboration with other national school choice leaders. Please see the Sources and Credits section for a state-by-state breakdown of data sources, uses, and estimations.

state profiles

a note on methodology


38

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Arizona Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit Program Type

Data Update

Individual scholarship tax credit

Scholarships Awarded

Student Eligibility

Schools Participating

»» None specified in law »» May be determined by School Tuition Organization (STO) »» Private school students also eligible

27,476* 370

STOs Operating 53 2009 Expenditures $52,091,718

STO Requirements

»» Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships »» Make scholarships available for more than one school »» May allow donors to recommend student beneficiaries but shall not award, designate, or reserve scholarships solely on the basis of donor recommendations

»» Shall not exchange recommendations of student beneficiaries with other donors »» Annually report to the state:

∏∏ Data on accepted contributions, grants awarded, the dollar amount of scholarships granted to students who qualify

for free and reduced lunch, and the dollar amount of scholarships granted to those students whose household income falls between 185 percent and 342 percent of the federal poverty level, the amount of money being held for student scholarships in future years, a list of participating schools with the number Student Participation and dollar amount of scholarship awards received, and the pay of the STO’s top 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 three officials for the fiscal year ∏∏ Proof of independent review of financial 128 statements by a certified public accountant 1998–99

School Requirements Comply with state private school regulations, including nondiscrimination and health and safety requirements

state profiles

Scholarship Cap

1999–00 2000–01 2001–02

Tuition only

2002–03

Tax Credit Value

2003–04

100 percent of donation

Donor Tax Credit Cap

»» $500 single »» $1,000 married couple

2004–05 2005–06 2006–07

Statewide Cap None

Year Enacted 1997

2007–08

15,081 18,049 19,559 20,134 21,146 22,529 24,678 27,153

2008–09

28,321

2009–10

27,582

2010–11

* Alliance Estimate

3,365

27,476*


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

39

Arizona Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit Program Type Corporate scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

»» Family income cannot exceed 185 percent of the federal free or reduced-price lunch program limit ($75,467 for a family of four in 2010)

»» Attended public school the previous year or entering kindergarten STO Requirements

»» Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships »» Make scholarships available for more than one school »» Must allow the Department of Revenue to verify that the scholarships issued are awarded to students attending a qualified school

»» Annually report to the state: ∏∏ Data on accepted contributions, grants awarded, the amount of money being held for student scholarships

in future years, a list of participating schools with the number and dollar amount of scholarship awards received, and the pay of the STO’s top three officials for the fiscal year ∏∏ Proof of independent review of financial statements by a certified public accountant

School Requirements

»» Comply with state private school regulations, including nondiscrimination and health and safety requirements

»» Require teachers to be fingerprinted »» Annually administer and make publicly available the aggregate results of nationally norm-referenced, standardized achievement test

Scholarship Cap (2010–11)

»» $4,700 — grades K–8 »» $5,900 — grades 9–12 »» Limits increase by $100 each year

Data Update Scholarships Awarded Schools Participating

Tax Credit Value

STOs Operating

100 percent of donation

2009 Expenditures

3,626* 169 53 $7,881,787

Donor Tax Credit Cap None

»» $20.74 million (FY 2011) »» 20 percent annual increase each year

Year Enacted 2006

0 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09

* Alliance Estimate

500

1,000

1,500

2,000 2,500

3,000 3,500

4,000

35 1,947 2,967

2009–10

3,652

2010–11

3,626*

state profiles

Student Participation

Statewide Cap


40

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Arizona Lexie’s Law Program Type Data Update

Corporate scholarship tax credit program for disabled students and foster children

Scholarships Awarded Schools Participating

Student Eligibility

»» Students who received vouchers under Arizona’s two previous voucher

2009 Expenditures

145* 38 $625,335

programs (for foster children and children with disabilities) receive priority in scholarships »» Students must have attended a government-run public school as a full-time student for 100 days prior to the fiscal year »» Students must: ∏∏ have been placed in foster care at any time before the student graduates from high school or obtains a GED, OR ∏∏ have been identified as having a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or identified by a school district as a child with a disability, or a student eligible to receive disability services from a school district

School Tuition Organization (STO) Requirements

»» Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships »» Make scholarships available for more than one school »» Must allow the Department of Revenue to verify that the scholarships issued are awarded to students attending a qualified school

»» Annually report to the state: ∏∏ Data on accepted contributions, grants awarded, the amount of money being held for student scholarships in future

years, a list of participating schools with the number and dollar amount of scholarship awards received, and the pay of the STO’s top three officials for the fiscal year ∏∏ Proof of independent review of financial statements by a certified public accountant

School Requirements

»» Schools must not discriminate on the basis of race, color, handicap, familial status, or national origin, and must satisfy the requirements prescribed by federal law for private schools

Scholarship Cap

»» Shall not exceed the cost of tuition for the student to attend a private school or 90 percent of the amount that it would cost the state to send the child to an applicable public school, whichever is less

Tax Credit Value

state profiles

100 percent of donation

Statewide Cap

Student Participation

$5 million 0

Year Enacted 2009**

2006–07

* Alliance Estimate

2007–08

** This program was previously a voucher program. In 2009, it transitioned to a scholarship tax credit program. Student enrollment data for years before 2009-10 is for the voucher program.

2008–09 2009–10 2010–11

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

400

450

40 359 439 112 145*


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

41

Florida Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Data Update

Program Type Corporate scholarship tax credit

Scholarships Awarded

32,946

Schools Participating

1,092

Student Eligibility

SFOs Operating 4

»» Qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program ($40,793 for a family of four in 2010) »» Attended a Florida public school the previous year or entering kindergarten or first grade »» If a renewing student’s income grows up to 24 percent higher than the original entry threshold of free or reduced-price lunch, students are eligible for a partial scholarship

Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) Requirements

»» Use at least 97 percent of contributions for scholarships »» SFOs with less than three years’ worth of audits must use 100 percent of donations for scholarships »» Make scholarships available for more than one school »» Submit to the state: ∏∏ Financial and compliance audit performed by certified public accountant ∏∏ Quarterly reports on number of scholarship recipients and participating schools

School Requirements

»» Be approved by state department of education »» Submit to the state annual sworn compliance reports

2010 Donations

$140,000,000

Student Participation 0

5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000

2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11

15,585 11,550 1o,549 15,123 17,819 21,493 24,871 28,927 32,946

regarding all local and state health and safety codes

»» Comply with federal nondiscrimination requirements of 42 U.S.C. s 200d »» Teachers and other school personnel working with scholarship recipients must have federal background check »» Teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, three years of teaching experience, or special expertise »» Schools in operation less than three years must obtain a surety bond or letter of credit to cover value of the scholarship payments for one quarter

»» Any school receiving at least $250,000 in scholarship money must provide financial reporting to the state »» Scholarship students must take a nationally recognized norm-referenced test or the state public school assessment »» All schools with at least 30 students in grades 3–10 must post standardized test score gains Scholarship Cap

It will increase in 4 percentage point increments in any year in which the cap is raised until the amount ultimately reaches 80 percent

Tax Credit Value 100 percent of donation

Donor Tax Credit Cap 75 percent of state income tax liability

Statewide Cap

»» 2010 $140 million »» 2011 $175 million Cap is allowed to increase by 25 percent in any year after 90 percent of the cap is reached

Year Enacted 2001

state profiles

»» $4,106 for private school scholarship »» $500 scholarship covering transportation to another public school »» Beginning in 2010–11, the scholarship cap is 60 percent of the basic state per pupil funding, which is $4,106.


42

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Florida John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

Program Type

Schools Participating

Special needs voucher

2010 Expenditures

21,054 985 $152,000,000*

Student Eligibility

»» Have Individualized Education Program (IEP) »» Attended a Florida public school in any of the five years prior to

Student Participation

the 2010–11 fiscal year

0

»» Children of U.S. military personnel transferring are exempt from prior year public school attendance requirement

»» Children who received specialized instructional services under the Voluntary Pre-K Education Program (VPK) the previous school year are exempt from prior year public school attendance requirement

School Requirements

»» Be approved by state department of education »» Submit to the state annual sworn compliance reports regarding

1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04

5,000

10,000

15,000

20,000

2 970 5,013 9,130 13,739

all local and state health and safety codes

»» Comply with federal nondiscrimination requirements of 42

2004–05

U.S.C. s 2000d

»» Teachers and other school personnel working with scholarship recipients must have federal background checks

»» Teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, three years of teaching experience, or special expertise

»» Schools in operation less than three years must obtain a surety bond or letter of credit to cover the value of the scholarship payments for one quarter »» Annually report student’s progress to parents

Enrollment Cap None

Scholarship Cap

state profiles

Whichever is less:

»» amount of public school funding students would have received, OR »» selected private school’s tuition and fees Program Funding No specific program appropriation

Year Enacted 1999

* Alliance Estimate

2005–06 2006–07 2007–08

15,910 17,300 18,273 19,852

2008–09

20,530

2009–10

20,926

2010–11

21,054


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

43

Georgia Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program Program Type Special needs voucher

Student Eligibility

»» Attended a Georgia public school the previous year »» Have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the entire school year prior to receiving a scholarship

School Requirements

»» Notify state regarding intention to participate »» Demonstrate financial viability »» Comply with federal nondiscrimination requirements of 42 U.S.C. s 2000d »» Comply with state health and safety requirements »» Be accredited or in the process of becoming accredited »» Teachers must have bachelor’s degree or three years’ experience in education or health »» Provide parents with teachers’ credentials »» Report to parents and state regarding students’ academic progress Scholarship Cap Whichever is less:

Data Update

»» amount of public school funding

Scholarships Awarded

student would have received, OR »» selected private school’s tuition and fees

Schools Participating

Enrollment Cap

2010 Expenditures

2,550 190 $15,991,050

None

Program Funding

Student Participation

No specific appropriation 0

Year Enacted 2007 2007–08

2008–09

2010–11

1,000

1,500

2,000

2,500

3,000

899

1,596

state profiles

2009–10

500

2,068

2,550


44

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Georgia Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program Program Type Corporate and individual scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

»» Attended a Georgia public school the previous year or entering pre-kindergarten or kindergarten Student Scholarship Organization (SSO) Requirements

»» Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships »» Make scholarships available for more than one school »» Annually submit to the state: ∏∏ Data on accepted contributions and tax credits approved ∏∏ Independent review of financial statements by certified public accountant

School Requirements

»» Be accredited or in the process of becoming accredited »» Comply with the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 »» Comply with all state private school regulations, including health and safety codes Scholarship Cap None

Tax Credit Value 100 percent of donation

Donor Tax Credit Cap

»» $1,000 for individual taxpayers filing as single »» $2,500 for taxpayers filing jointly as a married couple »» 75 percent of corporation’s state income tax liability Statewide Cap $50 million

Data Update

Year Enacted

Scholarships Awarded

2008

state profiles

Schools Participating

6,125* Not available

SSOs Operating

33

2010 Donations

$24,500,000

Student Participation 0

2009–10

2010–11

* Alliance Estimate

1,000

2,000

3,000

4,000

5,000

6,000

3,000

6,125*


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

45

Indiana Corporate & Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Program Program Type Corporate and individual scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

»» Must have a household income at or below 200 percent of the free or reduced-price lunch level ($81,586 for a family of four in 2010)

»» Must have been enrolled in a public school the prior year or be entering kindergarten »» Must have received a scholarship in the previous school year »» No restrictions in statute on scholarships from multiple SGOs Scholarship Organization (SGO) Requirements

»» SGOs must be certified by the Department of Education and have a 501(c)(3) designation »» An SGO cannot limit the scholarships it provides under the program to children attending a particular school or group of schools

»» Must distribute at least 90 percent of contributions received and qualified under the tax credit »» Must conduct criminal background checks on all SGO employees and board members »» Have an outside financial audit conducted and provide an annual report to the Department of Education School Requirements

»» Non-public schools must be accredited by a national or regional accreditation agency that is recognized by the state board

»» Schools must administer a nationally recognized and norm-referenced assessment to the students Scholarship Cap The cost of education, defined as tuition and fees

Donation Cap None

Tax Credit Value

»» Donors will receive a 50 percent credit for their donations, allowing for $2.5 million in credits if $5 million is donated

»» Donors cannot carry over credits from year to year Statewide Cap $2.5 million in credits

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

$435,050*

state profiles

2010 Donations

219*

Year Enacted 2009

Student Participation 0

2010–11

* Alliance Estimate

100

200

219*


46

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Iowa Individual and Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit Program Type Individual and corporate scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

»» Family income must not exceed 300 percent of federal poverty guideline ($66,150 for a family of four in 2010) »» Private school students also eligible Scholarship Tuition Organization (STO) Requirements

»» Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships »» Make scholarships available for more than one school »» Annual review of financial statements by public accounting firm »» Submit data to the state on accepted contributions, grants awarded, and participating schools School Requirements

»» Be accredited »» Comply with federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Iowa Chapter 216 »» Comply with state health and safety codes Scholarship Cap School’s tuition

Tax Credit Value 65 percent of donation

Data Update

Donor Tax Credit Cap

Scholarships Awarded

None

Schools Participating STOs Operating

Statewide Cap $7.5 million

2010 Expenditures

10,208 157 12 $10,839,257

* Tax credits available for corporations are limited to 25 percent of the total $7.5 million cap.

Student Participation

Year Enacted

state profiles

2006

0

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2,500

5,000

7,500

10,000

116

7,527

8,737

9,624

10,208


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

47

Louisiana Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program Program Type Means-tested and failing schools voucher

Student Eligibility

»» Family income cannot exceed 250 percent of federal poverty guideline ($55,125 for a family of four in 2010)

»» Entering grades K–5 »» Attended an underperforming public school in previous year or entering kindergarten »» Must reside in Orleans Parish »» One additional grade level of eligibility will be added each year School Requirements

»» Be approved by the state to participate »» Comply with state nondiscrimination and health and safety requirements »» Administer state exams LEAP/iLEAP to the scholarship recipients »» Schools in operation less than two years cannot have more than 20 percent of students receiving scholarships

»» Submit to the state an annual independent financial audit conducted by a certified public accountant

Scholarship Cap Whichever is less:

»» 90 percent of state and local per pupil funding, OR »» tuition, fees, and costs associated with testing Enrollment Cap None

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

Program Funding

Schools Participating

$9 million

2010 Expenditures

1,697 33 $7,800,000*

Year Enacted 2008

Student Participation

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

* Alliance Estimate

500

1,000

1,500

2,000

640

1,100

1,697

state profiles

0


48

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Louisiana

★ New P rogram

School Choice Pilot Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities Program Type Special needs voucher

Student Eligibility

»» Must have an IEP and be in need of services for autism, mental disability, emotional disturbance, developmental delay, other health impairment, specific learning disability, or traumatic brain injury

»» Must reside in one of the six largest parishes: Jefferson, East Baton Rouge, Orleans, Caddo, St. Tammany, or Lafayette »» Eligible to attend a public school (private school students eligible as well) and entering grades K–8 School Requirements

»» Be approved by the state to participate »» Comply with state nondiscrimination and health and safety requirements »» Have existed and provided educational services to students with special needs for two years prior to participating in the program

»» Teachers must be certified to teach special education Scholarship Cap Whichever is less:

»» 50 percent of state per pupil funding, OR »» tuition charged by the eligible non-public school Enrollment Cap None

Year Enacted 2010

state profiles

* Program does not begin until the 2011–12 school year.


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

49

Ohio Educational Choice Scholarship Program Program Type Failing schools voucher

Student Eligibility

»» Current public school students assigned to a school that has been in Academic Watch or Academic Emergency for two years of a three-year period

»» Students scheduled to enter kindergarten in one of these schools also qualify »» Priority is given to returning and low-income applicants School Requirements

»» Be chartered by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) »» Meet state minimum standards for chartered non-public schools »» Administer state tests; test results are publicized on the ODE website »» Comply with state laws regarding nondiscrimination and health and safety codes »» Teachers and other staff working with children must undergo background checks Scholarship Cap

»» Grades K–8 $4,250 »» Grades 9–12 $5,000 »» Scholarship must be accepted as full tuition for students living under 200 percent of federal poverty guideline ($44,100 for a family of four in 2011)

Enrollment Cap 14,000

Data Update

Program Funding No specific appropriation

Scholarships Awarded Schools Participating

Year Enacted

2010 Expenditures

2005

13,195 277 $58,000,000

Student Participation 0

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

5,000

7,500

10,000

12,500

15,000

state profiles

2006–07

2,500

2,713

7,144

10,432

11,242

13,195


50

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Ohio Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program

Data Update 5,264

Scholarships Awarded

Program Type

Schools Participating

Means-preferenced voucher

36 $17,600,000

2010 Expenditures

Student Eligibility

»» Students living in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Student Participation

»» In grades K–8 when first applying »» Priority given to students living below 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($44,100 for a family of four in 2010) »» Scholarship may continue throughout high school »» Private school students also eligible

School Requirements

»» Be registered to participate and chartered by the Ohio Department of Education »» Meet state minimum standards for chartered non-public schools »» Administer the state’s tests, including administering the Ohio Graduation Test »» Comply with state laws regarding nondiscrimination and health and safety codes »» Teachers and other staff working with children must undergo background checks

0

1996–97

1997–98

2,500

5,000

1,994

2,914

1998–99

3,674

1999–00

3,406

2000–01

3,797

2001–02

2002–03

7,500

4,523

5,281

Scholarship Cap

»» 90 percent of $3,450 for low-income students ($3,105) »» 75 percent of $3,450 for other students ($2,587.50) Enrollment Cap

2003–04

2004–05

5,710

2005–06

5,813

None

Program Funding

state profiles

5,887

$19.3 million

2006–07

Year Enacted

2007–08

6,116

6,273

1995 2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

5,849

5,276

5,264


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

51

Ohio Autism Scholarship Program

Data Update

Program Type

Scholarships Awarded

Special needs voucher

Schools Participating

Student Eligibility

2010 Expenditures

1,672 233 $31,000,000

»» Must be identified as autistic through assigned school district

»» Must be assigned an Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Student Participation

»» Private school students also eligible

0

School Requirements

»» Register with the state »» Demonstrate fiscal soundness »» Have properly credentialed staff »» In operation one full year »» Have adequate liability, property, and casualty insurance certified by a certified public accountant »» Obtain surety bond or letter of credit to cover value of scholarships »» Teachers and other staff working with children must undergo background checks »» Comply with state nondiscrimination codes »» Provide regular student progress reports to parents and school

2004–05

2005–06

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

500

1,000

1,500

300

475

734

1,005

1,500

1,672

Scholarship Cap $20,000

Enrollment Cap None

Program Funding No specific appropriation

2003

state profiles

Year Enacted


52

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Oklahoma

★ New P rogram

Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program Program Type Special needs voucher

Student Eligibility

»» Must be assigned an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) »» Attended a public school in the state the previous school year School Requirements

»» Be accredited by the State Board of Education or another accrediting association approved by the State Board of Education

»» Comply with state nondiscrimination and health and safety requirements »» Participating schools must have been in operation for one school year prior to participation in the program, provide a statement by a certified public accountant confirming that the private school is insured and the owners have sufficient capital or credit to operate, or provide record of a surety bond or credit for the amount equal to the scholarship funds for any quarter »» Teachers must have a bachelor’s degree or at least three years of teaching experience in public or private schools, or have special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to provide instruction in subjects taught

Scholarship Cap Whichever is less:

»» amount equivalent to the local and state public school funding for each child (takes into account grade and disability), OR

»» tuition and fees charged by the eligible nonpublic school * The local school district may keep up to 5 percent of the scholarship amount for administrative services.

Enrollment Cap None

Year Enacted state profiles

2010

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

10

Schools Participating

6

2010 Expenditures

$114,864


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

53

Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program Type Corporate scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

»» Family income cannot exceed $60,000, with an additional $12,000 allowed for each additional dependent

»» Private school students also eligible

Scholarship Organization (SO) Requirements

»» Use at least 80 percent of contributions for scholarships

Data Update

»» Make scholarships available for more than one school »» Submit to the state an annual report detailing

Scholarships Awarded

donations received and scholarships awarded

Schools Participating

School Requirements

SOs Operating

»» Comply with the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 »» Teachers and other employees working with children

2010 Donations

42,339* 275* 242 $51,800,000*

must undergo background checks

»» Meet state health and safety codes

Student Participation

Scholarship Cap Tuition and fees

Tax Credit Value

»» 75 percent of one-year donation »» 90 percent of two-year donation

0

2001–02

2002–03

10,000

20,000

30,000

40,000

50,000

17,350

20,204

Donor Tax Credit Cap $300,000

2003–04

Statewide Cap

2004–05

25,875

26,701

$50 million 2005–06

29,638

Year Enacted 2006–07

2007–08

* Alliance Estimate

36,730

43,764

2008–09

44,839

2009–10

42,339*

state profiles

2001


54

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Rhode Island Rhode Island Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit Program Type Corporate scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

»» Family income cannot exceed 250 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($55,125 for a family of four in 2010) »» Other criteria determined by Scholarship Granting Organization »» Private school students also eligible Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) Requirements

»» Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships »» Provide annual report to state detailing number and value of scholarships awarded, ZIP codes of recipients, and criteria used to award scholarships

School Requirements

»» Comply with federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination »» Teachers must have bachelor’s degrees »» Teachers must undergo background checks »» Meet state health and safety codes

Data Update

Scholarship Cap

Scholarships Awarded

None

Schools Participating

Tax Credit Value

SGOs Operating

»» 75 percent of one-year donation »» 90 percent of two-year donation

2010 Expenditures

460 51 5 $1,254,376

Donor Tax Credit Cap $100,000

Student Participation

Statewide Cap

0

$1 million

Year Enacted

state profiles

2006

100

200

300

2006–07

278

2007–08

328

400

500

511

2008–09

2009–10

460


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

55

Utah Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Program Type

Special needs voucher Student Eligibility

»» Be identified as disabled and learning under an Individualized Education Program (IEP) »» Be currently attending an eligible private school and be determined in need of specialized services School Requirements

»» Be approved by the state »» Comply with federal nondiscrimination requirements of 42 U.S.C. s. 2000d »» Comply with state health and safety codes »» Submit to the state an audit and financial report completed by a certified public accountant »» Possess adequate working capital to maintain operations for the first year »» Disclose to parents the special education services to be provided and the cost of those services »» Administer annual assessment of student’s academic progress and report results to the student’s parents »» Teachers of recipients must have bachelor’s degrees, three years of teaching experience, or special skills »» Provide parents with teachers’ credentials Scholarship Cap

Based on state’s public school funding formula

»» $6,442.50 »» $3,865.50

three or more hours of services less than three hours of services

Enrollment Cap

Data Update

None

Scholarships Awarded Schools Participating

Program Funding

$3,297,781

2010 Expenditures

Year Enacted

624 43 $3,297,781

Student Participation

2005 0

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

200

300

400

500

600

107

state profiles

2005–06

100

340

548

582

602

624


56

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

Data Update

Program Type

Scholarships Awarded

Means-tested voucher

Schools Participating 2010 Expenditures

Student Eligibility

20,189 102 $130,800,000

»» Students living in the Milwaukee Public School District

Student Participation

»» Family income below 175 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($38,587 for a family of four in 2010) »» Private school students also eligible

School Requirements

state profiles

»» Meet state nondiscrimination policies »» Allow students to opt out of religious programs »» Administer state testing to scholarship recipients in grades 4, 8, and 10 and provide scores to the School Choice Demonstration Project »» Receive accreditation within three years of participating in MPCP (current participating schools adding grades or creating a new school are exempt) »» Annually submit to the state a financial audit conducted by a certified public accountant »» Provide the state evidence of sound fiscal practices and financial viability »» School administrators must undergo financial training and have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education »» Teachers must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education, and teacher aides must have received a high school diploma or been granted a GED or HSED »» Must provide 1,050 hours of direct pupil instruction in grades 1–6 and 1,137 hours of direct pupil instruction in grades 7–12 »» Must provide the Department of Public Instruction with information about the academic program at the participating school and student test score data »» Meet all state health and safety codes

Scholarship Cap

0

1990–91

504

1992–93

591

1993–94

718

1994–95

786

1995–96

1,320

1996–97

1,606

1997–98

1,501

1998–99 1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06

Enrollment Cap

2006–07

Program Funding

2007–08 2008–09

$130,800,000 in 2010-11

Year Enacted

1990

10,000

15,000

20,000

337

1991–92

$6,442

22,500

5,000

5,740 7,596 9,104 10,391 11,209 12,788 14,427 15,274 17,126 18,550 19,414

2009–10

20,328

2010–11

20,189


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

57

Washington, D.C. D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program Program Type

Means-tested voucher Student Eligibility

»» Qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program ($40,793 for a family of four in 2010) »» Priority to students who attend schools deemed in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under the federal No Child Left Behind Act

»» Low-income students in other public schools are given second priority »» Students currently attending private school are given third priority »» Scholarship recipients are required to participate in standardized assessment as part of a five-year federal evaluation of the program

School Requirements

»» Must not discriminate »» Comply with district health and safety codes »» Teachers in core subjects must have a bachelor’s degree »» Must be accredited and comply with other standards prescribed under the District of Columbia compulsory school attendance laws

»» Must allow the U.S. Department of Education to complete two site visits annually »» Schools must now administer the District of Columbia annual test, instead of a nationally normed standardized test, and a new comparative evaluation will be conducted utilizing D.C. Public Schools, Charter Schools, and OSP school testing data

Scholarship Cap

Data Update

$7,500

Scholarships Awarded

Cap

Schools Participating

$11.2 million

2010 Expenditures

1,012 41 $8,206,200

*New students currently prohibited

Student Participation

Year Enacted

2004

0

2004–05

500

1,000

1,500

2,000

1,022

1,712

2006–07

1,799

1,933

2007–08

1,716

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

1,319

1,012

state profiles

2005–06


58

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Accountability Check The Alliance for School Choice supports strong, commonsense accountability provisions for school choice programs. Not only are transparency and accountability smart public policies, but they provide the school choice movement and school choice advocates with readily available data and information to improve programs and to describe their successes. This chart details the accountability provisions that exist in school choice programs.

Voucher Programs

Georgia

Special Needs Scholarship Program

Louisiana

Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence

Louisiana

School Choice Pilot Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities

Ohio

Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program

Ohio

Autism Scholarship Program

Ohio

Educational Choice Scholarship

Oklahoma

Leslie Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program

Utah

Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship

Wisconsin

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

District of Columbia

D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

Independent Evaluation

Public Reporting of Results

McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

Academic Accountability Standardized Assessments

Background Checks

Program Name

Florida

Proof of Financial Viability

NonDiscrimination

State

Financial Accountability Annual Financial Reporting

Health and Safety

Administrative Accountability

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓*

* Not necessarily a standardized test; law requires a formal testing procedure

Tax Credit Programs

Arizona

Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

Arizona

Lexie's Law

Florida

Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Georgia

Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program

Indiana

Corporate & Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Program

Iowa

Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

Pennsylvania

Educational Improvement Tax Credit

Rhode Island

Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit

Independent Evaluation

Public Reporting of Results

Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

Academic Accountability

Standarized Assesments

NonDiscrimination

Program Name

Arizona

Proof of Financial Viability

Health and Safety

State

Background Checks

Annual Financial Reporting

School Administrative and Financial Accountability

Submit Donation/ Scholarship Details

state profiles

Background Checks

SGO Administrative and Financial Accountability


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

59

National School Choice Organizations Alliance for School Choice AllianceForSchoolChoice.org

Education Reform Now EdReformNow.org

American Federation for Children FederationForChildren.org

Foundation for Excellence in Education ExcelInEd.org

American Legislative Exchange Council ALEC.org

The Foundation for Educational Choice EdChoice.org

Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) BAEO.org

Heartland Institute Heartland.org

The CATO Institute CATO.org Center for Education Reform EdReform.com Center for American Private Education (CAPE) CapeNet.org Democrats for Education Reform DFER.org Education Action Group Foundation (E3) EAGFdn.org Education Breakthrough Network EdBreakthrough.org

Heritage Foundation Heritage.org Hispanic Council for Reform & Educational Options HCREO.com Institute for Justice IJ.org National Alliance for Public Charter Schools PublicCharters.org National School Choice Week SchoolChoiceWeek.org State Policy Network SPN.org StudentsFirst StudentsFirst.org

school choice organizations


60

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

State School Choice Organizations Arizona AZ School Tuition Organization Association ASTOA.com

New Mexico Educate New Mexico EducateNM.org

Florida Step Up for Students StepUpForStudents..org

North Carolina Parents for Educational Freedom in NC PEFNC.org

Georgia Center for an Educated Georgia EducatedGeorgia.org

Ohio School Choice Ohio SCOhio.org

Indiana School Choice Indiana SchoolChoiceIndiana.org

Pennsylvania Students First Pennsylvania StudentsFirstPAC.com

Iowa Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education (Iowa ACE) IowaAce.org

REACH Foundation PASchoolChoice.org

Louisiana Louisiana BAEO Louisiana.BAEO.org Maryland BOAST BOASTMaryland.org Minnesota Coalition for Kids Misf.org/coalition-for-kids.php

school choice organizations

Missouri Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri ChildrensEducationAlliance-MO.org New Jersey Excellent Education for Everyone NJE3.org

Rhode Island Rhode Island Scholarship Alliance RIScholarshipAlliance.org Utah Parents for Choice in Education ChoiceInEducation.org Virginia School Choice Virginia SchoolChoiceVA.com Washington, D.C. D.C. Parents for School Choice SaveSchoolChoice.com Wisconsin School Choice Wisconsin SchoolChoiceWI.org Milwaukee BAEO Milwaukee.BAEO.org Hispanics for School Choice HispanicsForSchoolChoice.com


Florida Representative James Bush III (D-Miami) addresses 5,500 school choice advocates at the nation’s largest-ever school choice rally in Tallahassee, Florida, on March 24, 2010. Bush spoke as the interim president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the civil rights organization founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


62

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

HIGHLIGHT

Florida Rallies for School Choice in a Big Way Florida’s much-heralded Tax Credit Scholarship Program has long been considered a model for the nation. There was no better demonstration of this than on March 24, 2010, when more than 5,500 people marched on Tallahassee. What was impressive was not only the number of participants—the event was the largest school choice event in U.S. history— but the diversity of the speakers. From Democrats to Republicans, Catholics to Orthodox Jews, people from all backgrounds joined together in common purpose. One of the highlights of the day was a speech by State Representative James Bush III (D-Miami). As interim president of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) — the organization founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. —Bush enthusiastically backed school choice and described its importance in the context of the modern-day civil rights movement.   

highlight

The following is an excerpt from a speech.


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

63

“The organization created by Dr. King believes that a scholarship for low-income children is one way to break the cycle and close the gap.” Speech Excerpt James Bush III, Interim President of the Southern Christian Leadership Council I stand before you today not as a legislator but as a messenger. I am here to bring you the word of an organization that was born a half-century ago when a dignified woman in Montgomery, Alabama, named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. Those of you who know your history lessons will know that the resulting boycott helped to change the course of this nation and led to the creation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. You also know that the SCLC was the embodiment of the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was its founding president. Dr. King once said that the true goal of education was to build both intelligence and character, and that is why we are here today. We are here because we know that true liberation is not just about changing laws but about lifting minds. We know that our children can and must do better in school, and that something has to change if they are going to live Dr. King’s dream. In Florida today, we suffer a gap of academic achievement that is incomprehensible—a gap that means a black student is twice as likely as a white to drop out and only three-fourths as likely to graduate, a gap that finds more than half of black students in Florida last year reading below their grade level. I say to every one of you in this amazing audience today—to the students, the parents, the teachers, and the activists—we are going to change that. What I see here today is a will that can’t be defeated. I see confidence and commitment. I see a Tax Credit Scholarship that has stimulated and motivated you, and I dearly hope my friends in these buildings behind you understand all that. I hope that people get that this is not about public schools versus private schools. This is about reading and writing and diplomas and degrees. This is about finding the place where every single student learns the best. This is about fulfilling that very American promise of equal educational opportunity.

highlight

It is no coincidence that the first African-American to live in the White House is a man with an Ivy League degree, and just last summer President Obama made a powerful point about our history. “There’s a reason,” our president said, “the story of the civil rights movement was written in our schools. There’s a reason,” he said, “that Thurgood Marshall took up the cause of Linda Brown. There’s a reason,” he said, “why the Little Rock Nine defied a governor and a mob.”


64

Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

It’s because, (he) told us, there is no stronger weapon against inequality and no better path to opportunity than an education that can unlock a child’s God-given potential. I say to you today that the Tax Credit Scholarship program is one of the keys we use to unlock that potential. It is one way we can reach some of those children who go to bed hungry at night. It is one way we show that an empty pocketbook doesn’t have to mean an empty bookshelf—that all our learning tools need to be on the table for all our children.

highlight

I am here today as a messenger of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and I am here to proudly proclaim that the organization created by Dr. King believes that a scholarship for low-income children is one way to break the cycle and close the gap. I am here, standing before this inspiring sea of hopeful faces, to announce that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference endorses Tax Credit Scholarships and endorses the bill this year that will expand them. This is our future.

* Reprinted with permission


School Choice Yearbook  2010 – 11

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Sources and Credits The authors of Hope for America’s Children: School Choice Yearbook 2010–11 utilized information from a variety of sources in developing this annual publication. To maintain the flow of the document without interruption, the sourcing for the book is provided in this section. The authors remain enormously grateful, specifically, to the state officials and school choice organizations that participated in our rigorous information-gathering and data-mining process. Their dedication and hard work have helped to make the Alliance for School Choice’s information and data unparalleled in its accuracy. In addition, we are incredibly thankful for the assistance and support of Greg Brock, Scott Jensen, and John Schilling through the research and writing process. While many individuals were responsible for providing information for this book, any and all errors are those of the authors. photographs and testimonials All of the photographs and testimonials that appear in Hope for America’s Children: School Choice Yearbook 2010–11 were provided by school choice organizations across the country. We are enormously grateful to the following organizations for providing photographs and stories for use in this publication: The Black Alliance for Educational Options (Felice Green), the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (Julio Fuentes), the Institute for Justice (Christina Walsh), TOPS for Kids (Harry Miller), Step Up for Students (Jon East), Center for an Educated Georgia (David Pusey), Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education (Trish Wilger), Louisiana BAEO (Shree’ Medlock), the Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs (Brandon Dutcher), Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (Darrell Allison), School Choice Ohio (Chad Aldis), REACH Foundation (Otto Banks), Students First PAC (David Pollard and Dawn Chavous), Rhode Island Scholarship Alliance (Kate Nagle), Parents for Choice in Education (Judi Clark), D.C. Parents for School Choice (Virginia Walden Ford), School Choice Wisconsin (Susan Mitchell, Mike Ford), Excellent Education for Everyone-E3 (Derrell Bradford). research recap The Comprehensive Longitudinal Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Summary   of Third Year Reports, Patrick J. Wolf, University of Arkansas, Report, April 2010. Evaluation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program: Final Report, Institute of Education Sciences, Study, June 2010. Closing the Racial Achievement Gap: Learning from Florida’s Reforms, Matthew Ladner, The Goldwater Institute, and Lindsey M. Burke, The Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, September 17, 2010. state profiles: Arizona  Information for all three programs was provided by the Arizona Department of Revenue (Georganna Meyer). Arizona’s reporting system is one of the most accurate and comprehensive in the country; while student enrollment numbers for 2010 are Alliance estimates, all other data was provided by the state. Florida  Information on both of Florida’s private school choice programs was provided by the Florida Department of Education. Information regarding the amount of funds donated to the Tax Credit Scholarship Program was provided by Step Up For Students (Jon East). Georgia  Information was provided by the Center for an Educated Georgia (David Pusey). The Alliance estimated student enrollment numbers based on historical enrollments trends, as this information is not publicly reported. sources and credits


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Hope for America’s Children  Alliance for School Choice

Indiana  Information on donations was provided by the Indiana Department of Education and the Choice Charitable Trust. The Alliance estimated student enrollment numbers based on historical enrollment trends for first-year programs, as this information is not publicly reported. Iowa  Information was provided by the Iowa Department of Education (Jim McNulty) and by the Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education (Trish Wilger). Louisiana  Information was provided by the Louisiana Department of Education and by Alliance team member Lauren Perry. Ohio  Information on the EdChoice and Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program was provided by the Ohio Department of Education (Susan Cosmo). Information on the Autism Scholarship Program was also provided by the Ohio Department of Education (Paul Sogan). Oklahoma  Information was provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (Amy Daugherty). Pennsylvania  Information provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (Ted Knorr). The Alliance estimated student enrollment numbers based on historical enrollments trends, as this information is not publicly reported. Rhode Island  Information provided by the Rhode Island Scholarship Alliance (Kate Nagle). The Alliance estimated student enrollment numbers based on historical trends. Wisconsin  Information provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (Molly Koranda).

sources and credits

Washington, D.C.  Information provided by the D.C. Youth Investment Trust (Salma Kahn).


allianceforschoolchoice.org 1660 L Street, NW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20036 Phone  202.280.1990 Email  info@AllianceForSchoolChoice.org


School Choice Yearbook 2010–11