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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12 Malcom Glenn Michelle Gininger

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 accountability provisions and requirements for each program, and a chronicle of the past year’s choice-related events and activities.


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice School Choice Yearbook 2011–12 An Annual Publication

Published by: Alliance for School Choice 1660 L Street, NW, Suite 1000 Washington, D.C. 20036 202.280.1990 www.AllianceForSchoolChoice.org

Copyright Š 2012 Alliance for School Choice. All Rights Reserved.

Authors: Malcom Glenn and Michelle Gininger with Greg Brock, Scott Jensen, Whitney Rhoades, and John Schilling and special thanks to Andrew Campanella Book Design: Alina Zenn

Printed in the United States of America First Printing

Cover image: Second graders listen as North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) reads to them during a legislative school tour in Durham, NC in March 2011.


Parents and students rally for school choice at the state capitol in Columbus, Ohio, on March 22, 2011.


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Table of Contents

Pg. 4

Breaking Through: An Introduction

6

What is School Choice?

8

Types of School Choice Programs

9

School Choice Today

11

The Year in Review: The top 5 Stories of 2011

16

Feature: A Broad Spectrum

22

Growth and expansion

26

Legislative Briefing: The State of School Choice

29

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Program quality: Accountability and Bill Design

31

results matter: School Choice Studies by the Numbers

32

Feature: Implementation Efforts Empower Families Nationwide

37

State Profiles

40

Accountability Check

70

School Choice allies

72

About Us

74

Sources and Credits

75

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Foreword by betsy DEVos Chairman, Alliance for School Choice

Breaking Through: An Introduction After stunning election victories for school choice supporters in 2010, newly elected champions of educational freedom carried their campaign promises to statehouses in 2011, resulting in the largest expansion of educational opportunity in American history. This Yearbook recounts the breakthrough year that was 2011, while analyzing the trends and data that illustrate why publicly funded private school choice is a critically important part of mainstream education reform. In all, the school choice revolution that swept the nation in 2011 yielded the creation of seven new programs — with 27 total publicly funded private school choice programs. This year, more than 210,000 children participate in school choice programs, a record number. But amid the successes of 2011 and the promise of future victories in 2012 lies a sad reality: millions of children remain trapped in traditional public schools that, for a myriad of reasons, do not work for them. This has yielded a devastating dropout epidemic in our country, with one American child leaving high school every 26 seconds. Sadly, but not surprisingly, children from low-income families are hurt the most. America can do better — much better. And that is what we’re fighting for — a prosperous nation where parents can better control the destinies of their children. We hope you agree. So, after perusing this Yearbook, we challenge you to join us in demanding school choice in your community and state. From small gatherings at your home to enormous rallies, from legislative meetings to protests, let’s let every American know that we won’t rest until every child is provided with access to the best schools possible. Because it’s clear that parental choice in education is a cause worth fighting for.

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Sincerely,

Betsy DeVos

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


A Washington, D.C. parent attends an Opportunity Scholarship Program sign-up event on July 9, 2011. The program enrolled more than 1,600 students for the 2011–12 school year — a 60 percent increase thanks to reauthorization. School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

What is School Choice?

School choice puts parents in charge of their children’s education by letting them select the best schools for their kids, 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 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, especially 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

Types of School Choice* School Vouchers: Voucher programs give children (usually children from low-income families, 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 Credits: Scholarship tax credit programs give families 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 receive tax credits for donating to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships for children to attend private schools. Education Savings Accounts: Education savings account programs create personal accounts that store a child’s state education dollars. These funds can be used in a variety of educational options, including tuition and fees, textbooks, and tutoring. In education savings account programs, families determine how education funding is spent for their children’s education.

— right away — through access to private schools via opportunity scholarships (most commonly

Public Charter Schools: Charter schools provide

called school vouchers), special needs scholarship

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.

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 highquality charter schools, virtual schools, online learning options, and homeschooling.

* Other types of school choice options include public magnet

schools, inter- and intra-district public school choice, virtual schools, individual tuition tax credits, and homeschooling.

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of 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 and constitutions of a particular state, legislators may choose to enact school voucher programs, scholarship tax credit programs, or education savings accounts. While voucher programs, scholarship tax credit programs, and education savings accounts share similarities — in that qualifying children are provided with an immediate opportunity to attend the school of their parents’ choice — each type of program varies significantly in its funding mechanisms. As this section indicates, even within the three types of programs, options exist for policymakers to tailor school choice initiatives to the needs of their state. Opportunity Scholarship programs (School Vouchers) Opportunity scholarship programs (most commonly called school vouchers) allow disadvantaged children to receive statefunded scholarships to attend the school of their parents’ choice. These programs provide crucial options to parents whose children are too often 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: 3 Means-tested (or means-preferenced) voucher programs are targeted to help low-income families who meet specific income criteria. Six programs of this kind are currently operating, with Wisconsin offering two separate programs. ** 3 Failing schools voucher programs are targeted to assist children who attend low-performing public schools. Two programs of this kind are currently operating. 3 Special needs scholarship programs are targeted to help children with special educational needs. Typically, they require the student to have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to qualify. Seven programs of this kind are currently operating, with Ohio offering two separate programs. 3 Foster child voucher programs are targeted to help 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 programs, no programs of this kind are currently operating. 3 G.I. Junior voucher programs are targeted to assist children in military families, who often live on bases or in areas with high concentrations of failing schools. Although several states have considered such programs, no programs of this kind are currently operating. 3 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 programs, 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 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Scholarship Tax Credit Programs Scholarship tax credit programs provide state tax credits to businesses and individuals who donate money to scholarship organizations. These organizations 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 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. 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). 3 Ten scholarship tax credit programs are currently operating, with Arizona offering three separate programs.

3 Frequently, laws require that eligible families meet certain income criteria. These programs are known as meanstested or means-preferenced scholarship tax credit programs. There are seven programs of this kind currently operating. 3 One newer form of scholarship tax credit program is designed for children with special needs or children in foster care. There is one program of this kind currently operating. Education Savings Accounts Education savings accounts provide families with the option to receive a percentage of government education funding in a personal account to use on a variety of educational options, including tuition, tutoring, online education, testing fees, college courses, and textbooks. Unused funds can be used toward college tuition after high school graduation. 3 One education savings account program for children with special needs is currently operating.

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

School Choice Today The year began with 20 publicly funded private school choice programs in 12 states and the District of Columbia. In 2011, often with bipartisan support, school choice legislation was introduced, passed, or signed into law across the nation. Seven new programs were enacted, and 11 programs were expanded. Helping more children than ever before, the data below shows the vast reach and strength of school choice programs nationwide.

2011-12 School Choice Data at a Glance Overall: States with Private School Choice Programs States with Voucher Programs

13 + D.C. & Douglas County, Colo. 9 + D.C. & Douglas County, Colo.

States with Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

8

States with Education Savings Account Programs

1

States with Special Needs Scholarship Programs

7

Overall: Number of Private School Choice Programs

27

Number of Voucher Programs

15

Number of Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

10

Number of Education Savings Account Programs

1

Number of Special Needs Scholarship Programs

10

Overall: Funds Allocated/Donated for Private School Choice Programs

$806 million

Funds Allocated for Voucher Programs

$462 million

Funds Allocated for Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

$343 million

Funds Allocated for Education Savings Account Programs

$1.5 million

Funds Allocated for Special Needs Scholarship Programs

$215 million

Overall: Average Scholarship Amount in Private School Choice Programs

$3,794

Average Scholarship Amount in Voucher Programs

$5,940

Average Scholarship Amount in Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

$2,493

Average Scholarship Amount in Education Savings Account Programs

$10,607

Average Scholarship Amount in Special Needs Scholarship Programs

$7,332

* Information in the overall sections is not intended to add up to the numbers in the summary boxes. For example, some states have voucher and tax credit programs. Additionally, funding and student data for special needs scholarships is also included in data for vouchers, scholarship tax credit programs, and education savings account programs. School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Voucher Programs in the United States Program

Year Enacted

Colorado

Choice Scholarship Program

2011

Not Available

Not Available

Florida

John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program

1999

22,861

$148,849,829

Georgia

Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program

2007

2,965

$16,219,797

Indiana

Choice Scholarship Program

2011

3,919

Not Available

Louisiana

Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program

2008

1,848

$8,988,817

Louisiana

School Choice Pilot Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities

2010

186

$400,627

Ohio

Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program

1995

5,603

$21,000,000

Ohio

Autism Scholarship Program

2003

2,236

$42,600,000

Ohio

Educational Choice Scholarship Program

2005

16,136

$59,000,000

Ohio

Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program

2011

Not Available

Not Available

Oklahoma

Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program

2010

160

$1,000,000

Utah

Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship

2005

635

$3,734,000

Washington, D.C.

D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

2004

1,615

$13,967,550

Wisconsin

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

1990

23,198

$144,300,800

Wisconsin

Racine Parental Choice Program

2011

228

$1,546,100

81,590

$461,607,520

State

Total

Students in Funds Expended 2011–12 in 2011–12

Education Saving Account Programs in the United States

Pg. 12

State

Program

Arizona

Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Year Enacted

Students in 2011–12

Funds Expended or Donated in 2011–12

2011

142

$1,506,250


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Scholarship Tax Credit Programs in the United States State

Program

Year Enacted

Students in 2011–12

Funds Expended or Donated in 2011–12

Arizona

Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

1997

25,343

$47,105,564

Arizona

Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

2006

4,578

$9,189,905

Arizona

Lexie's Law

2009

115

$561,029

Florida

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship

2001

37,998

$175,000,000

Georgia

Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program

2008

8,131

$50,000,000

Indiana

Corporate and Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Program

2009

590

$814,106

Iowa

Individual and Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

2006

10,820

$11,538,448

Oklahoma

Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships

2011

Not Available

Not Available

Pennsylvania

Educational Improvement Tax Credit

2001

40,876

$48,242,880

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit

2006

Total

341

$592,015

128,792

$343,043,947

Lesly Alverez speaks about her experience attending private school thanks to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, at the American Federation for Children’s National Policy Summit on May 9, 2011.

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

States with School choice programs

Special Needs Programs

Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

Voucher Programs

27 Private School Choice Programs  15

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* Individual Tuition Tax Credits: an individual state income tax credit of significant size for educational expenses, including private school tuition. While individual tuition tax credits currently exist in a small number of states, the Alliance only officially counts North Carolina’s Tax Credits for Children with Disabilities because it is the first credit that is sufficiently large enough to affect a family’s ability to place their child in private school.

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


A concerned parent speaks with school choice leader Darrell Allison during a January town hall forum in North Carolina. The forum attracted more than 700 people and included a panel discussion with local, state, and national education leaders. School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 15


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Year in Review

The Year in Review: The Top 5 Stories of 2011 Historians will remember 2011 as the year when school choice became a major part of mainstream education reform, an important turning point in the continuing fight to ensure educational equality for all children. This past year, Americans from all parties and from all walks of life — at small meetings at people’s homes to large-scale rallies that spilled into the streets in front of state Capitols — demanded fundamental changes to the educational status quo. And they got them. Newly elected legislators joined with veteran lawmakers — all emboldened by historic victories in 2010 for school choice champions — to sponsor school choice legislation in 41 states and in the U.S. Congress. All told, a record number of school choice bills were passed in a record number of legislative chambers. Six states, the U.S. Congress, and a local school board passed legislation creating new school choice programs. In all, seven new school choice programs were enacted and 11 programs were strengthened, expanded, or restored from the brink of elimination. Indiana Makes History, Enacts Nation’s Most Expansive Voucher Program The enactment of the nation’s most expansive school voucher program was more than a decade in the making. For years, political and nonprofit groups laid the groundwork for the passage of such a dramatic program, building upon strong public support for educational options. On a warm, sunny day in early May, that hard work paid off as Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels — surrounded by many of the children who would ultimately benefit from school choice — signed the Choice Scholarship Program into law. The new voucher program provides children from the state’s low- and middle-income families access to private schools. The program, which will save taxpayer dollars, includes strong provisions to hold private schools accountable for student performance. In its first year, the program has already broken records, with nearly 4,000 students enrolled in hundreds of schools across the state. There is a cap of 15,000 in year two of the program, and by the third year, there is no cap on the number of student participants.

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Year in Review Wisconsin Dramatically Expands Nation’s Longest-Running Voucher Program After years in which the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) struggled to stay afloat amid relentless attacks from opponents of parental choice, Wisconsin’s voucher program was finally given room to grow, expand, and help thousands of additional children. On June 26, 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a historic expansion of the MPCP into law, removing the cap on the number of student participants, permitting schools across the state to accept program participants, expanding the program to benefit children from middle-class families, and, with a Democratic-sponsored provision known as “Once In, Always In,” ensuring that participating families can remain in the program regardless of future income growth. In addition, Walker signed into law the creation of the Racine Parental Choice Program, which began with a healthy waiting list in late summer 2011. Advocates continue to fight for the creation of a new special needs scholarship program and a voucher program in Green Bay. When key legislative supporters of school choice — including Senators Alberta Darling and Luther Olsen — were forced to deal with recall elections for supporting parental choice, supporters worked tirelessly to educate voters about the importance of educational options, and the school choice majority in the State Senate was preserved. Ohio quadruples EdChoice Scholarship enrollment cap, Creates Special Needs Voucher Program For school choice supporters in Ohio, including Representative Bill Patmon (D), at left, who spoke at a school choice rally in March, 2011 marked a decisive turning point in the Buckeye State’s educational choice movement. Just two years ago, then–Governor Ted Strickland threatened to gut the state’s highly popular Educational Choice (EdChoice) Scholarship Program. On June 30, Governor John Kasich — who defeated Strickland in the 2010 gubernatorial election — struck a different note, triumphantly signing legislation that quadruples the number of students who can participate in the EdChoice voucher program by the 2012–13 school year. The legislation also created the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship, which provides vouchers for up to 13,000 children with disabilities. And by increasing the size of voucher amounts in the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program, it empowered parents to select from a greater number of private schools for their children. Thanks to the actions of the Ohio Legislature and Governor Kasich, the Buckeye State is now the only state in the nation with four separate publicly funded private school voucher programs.

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Year in Review Congress Reauthorizes D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program Thousands of parents, children, and advocates in the nation’s capital saw years of hard work pay off on April 15, 2011, as the five-year reauthorization of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The endangered program’s rescue was made possible by a bipartisan group of Congressional supporters led by House Speaker John Boehner and Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Dianne Feinstein, who demanded the program’s continuation over the president’s opposition. The reauthorization language, included as part of a Congressional Resolution funding the federal government for the remainder of 2011, allowed the program to expand significantly, increased scholarship amounts for children, and ensured the continuation of a federally funded evaluation of the program’s impact on student attainment and achievement. With the program renewed and funded, thousands of new parents applied for scholarships for their children, allowing the program to grow by 60 percent over the previous school year. Arizona Creates First-Ever Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Long a center of education reform innovation, Arizona once again led the nation in the development of the first-ever Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), which were enacted in April 2011. Dubbed the Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, the program allows parents of children with special needs to receive an account that the parents can use to choose the best educational services and environments for their children — including private schooling and tutoring. With less than a month to implement the program, more than 100 parents were able to access ESA funding to send their children to private schools. In addition to the creation of the ESA program, families nationwide saw good news on April 4, 2011, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of scholarship tax credit programs by ruling in favor of Arizona’s Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit Program. Ruling against a special-interest-funded lawsuit designed to eliminate school choice programs, the Court stated that contributions to scholarship organizations “result from the decisions of private taxpayers regarding their own funds.” Arizona offers three scholarship tax credit programs — the Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit, the Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit, and Lexie’s Law.

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Year in Review Other Notable News 3 Florida expanded the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, increasing the amount and type of allowable corporate donations to scholarship organizations. The state also expanded the McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. The programs, which maintain strong bipartisan support, served more children than ever before in 2011. 3 Georgia strengthened and expanded its corporate and individual scholarship tax credit program, allowing students entering first grade to participate and increasing the program’s transparency and accountability. The bipartisan legislation, signed by Governor Nathan Deal in May 2011, also increased the amount of time that donors have to make contributions to scholarship organizations. 3 With strong bipartisan support, North Carolina enacted a significant tax credit for families who send children with special needs to private schools. The $6,000 personal income tax credit, which became law in July 2011, can benefit upwards of 200,000 families and was passed with the support of 65 percent of Democrats in the North Carolina Legislature. 3 Oklahoma created a $3.5 million means-tested corporate and individual scholarship tax credit program. Passed with bipartisan support, the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act, signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin in May 2011, benefits children with special needs and children who attend persistently failing traditional public schools. 3 In May 2011, the school board in Douglas County, Colorado, created the nation’s first locally initiated school voucher program. A Colorado court has issued an injunction barring the program from moving forward. Appeals to that decision have been filed. Georgia State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D) wows the crowd at the American Federation for Children’s National Policy Summit on May 10, 2011.

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Other Transformers A reform blockbuster, coming to a schoolhouse near you

Editorial: (July 14, 2011)—July is usually the time for blockbuster action at the movie house, not the schoolhouse. This summer is different. Major school reforms are unspooling in as many as a dozen states, including Illinois. These laws bring the promise of a transformation just as dramatic as — forgive us — anything that Decepticons could manage. (Ask your kids.) It starts with giving parents more options about where their children can go to school. The American Federation for Children, a Washington D.C.-based school choice advocacy group, dubs 2011 “The year of school choice.” This reform juggernaut is offering hope to tens of thousands of kids stuck in dismally performing public schools, answering the prayers of thousands of parents who want a better education for their kids, now.

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

• Indiana lawmakers passed one of the most ambitious voucher programs in the country. It covers students whose parents earn as much as $61,000 a year for a family of four. Within three years, there will be no limit on the number of vouchers available to eligible students. That’s epic.

• Ohio quadrupled to 60,000 the number of tuition vouchers available to students by 2013.

• Milwaukee’s 20,900-student school voucher program will add 3,000 kids over the next two years, thanks to Wisconsin lawmakers. The state also kicked off a choice program in Racine for 750 students.

• Congress revived Washington D.C.’s “opportunity scholarship” program, so hundreds of children from low-income families can attend private schools of their parents’ choice.

• Arizona created a savings account program to help parents with special needs children pay for private school tuition.

• Oklahoma started a tuition tax credit program to help fund private school scholarships for low- and middle-income kids. This wave of choice lifts charter schools, too. Tennessee and North Carolina eliminated caps on charter schools. Maine passed its first charter law. Indiana cleared the way for more universities to sponsor charter schools. Charters can take over empty school buildings there for $1.

Illinois, unfortunately, has not been nearly as aggressive as other states in promoting school choice. Lawmakers did pass a bill this year that would set up a statewide charter-granting commission. It would hear appeals from charter


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

“This reform juggernaut is offering hope to tens of thousands of kids stuck in dismally performing public schools, answering the prayers of thousands of parents who want a better education for their kids, now.” organizers who are rejected by local school districts. That would help good charter schools overcome local inertia and intransigence. We strongly urge Gov. Pat Quinn to sign this bill. Illinois led in another vital area: Teacher accountability. The state’s new school reform law makes performance — not seniority — the driving factor in who gets to teach in the classroom. Performance will count when schools have to lay off teachers. The law also targets tenure only for the best-performing teachers and streamlines the process for firing the worst teachers. The push for performance is taking hold across the country. Florida passed a potent bill that ties teachers’ pay raises to student performance, eliminates tenure for new teachers and allows tenured teachers to give up that protection in exchange for higher pay based on strong results. Lawmakers in Michigan, Idaho, Nevada, Ohio and Utah overhauled teacher accountability, too.

Days ago, the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association, acknowledged that teacher accountability is key to helping students learn. The union said student test scores may be considered in evaluating teachers. We applaud the NEA for softening its long-standing opposition to using standardized student test scores to judge teachers’ performance. The union leaders set some caveats: Such tests should be used if they’re shown to be “developmentally appropriate, scientifically valid and reliable for the purpose of measuring both student learning and a teacher’s performance.” And how many tests currently meet that standard, according to the union? Answer: None. Sigh. NEA president Dennis Van Roekel insisted to us that the union is “dead serious” about this shift in thinking. We hope so, because in a growing number of states, including

Illinois, evaluating teachers via student growth already is in the works. Robust buy-in from the NEA sure would help those state efforts succeed. Some Illinois schools will roll out evaluation systems in 2012. By 2016, all Illinois public schools must use student growth as a significant factor in evaluating teachers. No, standardized tests don’t tell the whole story about a teacher’s performance. Nor will any test ever be a perfect measure. But there’s strong evidence that teachers can be fairly rated based on students’ progress on standardized tests from year to year. Such analysis helps administrators — and parents — identify teachers who consistently help students advance. Lawmakers across the country are demolishing the education status quo with gusto. They’re championing choice and accountability. But let’s remember, laws don’t teach kids. We count on good teachers and involved parents to do that. Come fall, real students will sit in front of real teachers across the country. All of these changes in law give the best teachers more incentive to succeed and all kids a better chance to learn. *Reprinted with permission

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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FEATURE -*-

A Broad Spectrum Support for school choice comes from a diverse coalition of leaders from all across the country. Learn about the courageous actions taken by a few of those men and women, and how children from all walks of life are the ultimate winners.

Ronald Holassie, a D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program participant, worked his way to college thanks to school choice.

On the surface, it was just a single vote on a floor that has played host to thousands upon thousands of them. With the eyes of the nation watching, the tall, thin representative cast forth an “aye” that serves as an example for likeminded, courageous elected officials around the country. And although Daniel Lipinski’s vote on reauthorizing the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program wasn’t the deciding one, the symbolism was not lost to the country. As he stood up for kids in Washington, D.C., it set the stage for a remarkable year not just for school choice programs nationwide, but for a continued groundswell of bipartisan support that has helped define a new generation of school choice leaders who are defying stereotypes in an evolving education reform landscape. But Lipinski, a Democratic congressman representing Illinois’s Third District on Chicago’s South Side, was just one of many leaders who helped broaden the school choice fold in 2011.

Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) speaks at a press conference after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the SOAR Act, which reauthorized the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, on March 30, 2011. School choice champion Virginia Walden Ford stands with Alliance senior advisor Kevin P. Chavous.

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


FEATURE -*-

Supporters rally on the steps of the Pennsylvania state Capitol in Harrisburg in January 2011 during the first annual National School Choice Week. Across the country, as 2011 was widely dubbed “The Year of School Choice,” legislators past and present came to an important realization: partisan politics are no longer standing in the way of expanding educational opportunities for low-income families nationwide. Forgoing Politics in the Fight for What’s Right There was a similar story to tell in Wisconsin, when Rep. Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee) took to his state’s House floor in May to stand up for kids. Amid calls to his peers to “knock it off!” he excoriated legislators from both parties for playing politics with the lives of kids. Fields was also a sponsor of the so-called “once in, always in” provision allowing children to stay in Milwaukee’s voucher program regardless of their parents’ future income growth. It was refreshing to see, especially in a state that has been ground zero for contentious political battles over the past year. His call for civility and doing the right thing came just a few weeks after another prominent Milwaukee Democrat endorsed those same ideals. John Norquist, who for 16 years served as the city’s mayor, was the first to break traditional ranks and call for more opportunities for the city’s parents. Norquist and Fields seemed to have made some impact, too. Their appeal that Milwaukee’s voucher program be expanded was among the central measures included in the school choice budget provisions that passed later in the year. But the progress didn’t stop there. Following the budget debate, Gov. Scott Walker, a champion of school choice, teamed up with a frequent political opponent, Superintendent Tony Evers, to work on instituting an effective system of accountability for the state’s schools. Even in a place like Wisconsin, where political tempers run high, they showed that there’s hope for forging common ground.

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 23


FEATURE -*Unity and Compromise Yield Unlikely Alliances The fact that contentious rivals in Wisconsin could put their differences aside for the sake of kids was not lost in Pennsylvania, where Sens. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia) and Jeffrey Piccola (R-Dauphin/York) became the leaders of the 2011 charge to bring a statewide voucher program to the Keystone State. The proposed legislation was the first Senate bill of Pennsylvania’s entire 2011 session, and many of its fundamental tenets were key components of a plan that the Senate ultimately passed during the fall session. And Pennsylvania also saw a courageous move from one of its most prominent defenders of public education, when former Philadelphia School District Superintendent Arlene Ackerman called for greater school choice in the Keystone State. She should know about the plight of urban school districts, too, considering she has worked in public schools in various cities for 43 years. And while she took flak from many of her former colleagues for her stance, she stood by it, recognizing that, despite the political damage it might do, it meant far less than the damage being done to kids stuck in failing schools all around the state. Diverse voices for School choice A whole host of state leaders in Louisiana, Florida, New Jersey, and elsewhere came together to declare one thing: school choice is not the issue of a single ideology, demographic group, or political party. Families don’t see red and blue or “R” and “D.” They see simply one thing: equal opportunity. And as we look back on how 2011 gave thousands of new families the chance to see what school choice is all about, more and more people will start to see the amazing outcomes of those opportunities, too.

Students rally outside the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on April 12, 2011, in support of Senate Bill 1, which aimed to create the state’s first voucher program.

Pg. 24

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


Aniekan Affiah, a fifth grader from Durham, NC, who has been placed on waiting lists for two public charter schools, speaks during a press conference urging elected officials to remove the cap on public charter schools at the North Carolina General Assembly in June. The governor signed legislation removing the cap, and Aniekan now attends a charter school her family chose. School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 25


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Growth and Expansion Dubbed the “Year of School Choice”in July by The Wall Street Journal, the past year saw a dramatic increase in school choice programs across the nation. Seven new programs were created in Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Douglas County, Colorado. These seven programs — along with the other 20 active publicly funded private school choice programs — bring educational opportunity to 13 states plus the District of Columbia and Douglas County, Colorado. In 2011, eleven school choice programs were expanded and strengthened by increasing enrollment caps, expanding eligibility requirements, increasing scholarship caps, removing barriers for individuals and corporations to donate, increasing funding, and creating stronger accountability measures; and seven new programs were created. Of the 27 school choice programs, 15 are voucher programs, 10 are scholarship tax credit programs, and 10 are specifically designed to assist children with special needs.

States with Expansion 2011:

1

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7 8

10

2, 3 11

9

6

1. Milwaukee Parental Choice Program 2. Educational Choice Scholarship Program 3. Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program 4. Florida Tax Credit Scholarship 5. John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program

6. Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program

Pg. 26

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

4, 5

7. Individual and Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

8. Corporate and Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Program 9. Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with

Disabilities Program

10. Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship 11. D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (Restored and strengthened)


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Recent Student Enrollment Growth in Targeted School Choice Programs          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 



                     

Growth in Number of School choice Programs 30

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 27


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

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2011–12 Scholarship Recipients by State 

 

 

 

 

 

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Legislative Briefing: The State of School Choice During 2011 legislative sessions, 41 states and the U.S. Congress introduced publicly funded private school choice legislation, seven new programs were enacted, and 11 programs were expanded. Legislators across the country continue to introduce, pass, and enact programs that put parents in charge of their children’s education. More than 120 pieces of private school choice legislation (not including companion legislation) were introduced. When the total number of bills filed, including companion bills (identical measures introduced in both chambers of a state’s legislature) are considered, more than 145 were introduced. Whether passed as separate bills, in state budgets, or in negotiated deals, publicly funded private school choice legislation to enact, expand, and strengthen high-quality programs was on the rise in 2011.

School Choice Bills Introduced in 41 States in 2011 Legislative Sessions

States that introduced school choice legislation States that did not introduce school choice legislation

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 29


Pennsylvania State Sen. Anthony Williams (D) fires up the crowd in January 2011 at the State Capitol as he emphasizes how critical school choice is to children’s futures. Pg. 30

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Program Quality: Accountability and Bill Design To create a vibrant and successful American education system in which achievement is high and children are given the opportunity to attend great schools, school choice programs must be effective and accountable, with a high level of transparency, to ensure the highest level of program quality and sustainability. Academic Accountability – Academic accountability provisions require transparency to parents, policymakers, taxpayers, and donors. Parents must have the information to choose high-quality schools that meet the needs of their children, while policymakers, taxpayers, and donors must measure the impact of school choice programs on academic achievement and attainment. Administrative Accountability – Administrative accountability provisions require schools to meet health and safety codes, comply with nondiscrimination requirements, and conduct background checks on employees. In scholarship tax credit programs, Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) should disclose donations and scholarship details, as well as conduct background checks of SGO operators. Financial Accountability – Financial accountability provisions require schools to file annual financial reports and demonstrate financial viability. In scholarship tax credit programs, financial accountability also requires SGOs to demonstrate sound financial standing.

Dr. Howard Fuller, pioneer education reformer and recipient of the 2011 John T. Walton Champions for School Choice Award, speaks at a community forum on educational options in Georgia on December 7, 2011. Fuller is a former Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools and cofounder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO).

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 31


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Results Matter: School Choice Studies by the Numbers Academic Achievement: Extensive research has been conducted on the academic success of students enrolled in school choice programs. Nine “gold standard” studies conducted by seven research teams in six cities revealed that all or some students eventually showed academic gains—and that those gains were equivalent to an extra month of learning per year. 3 Students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program — the nation’s longest-running voucher program — performed 9 to 12 percent higher in a statewide math, reading, and science test than their similarly disadvantaged peers. 3 The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program demonstrated “the largest impact of any education policy program yet evaluated” by the U.S. Department of Education, according to studies released in 2008 and 2009 by the Institute for Education Sciences and Education Next. 3 Sixth-grade scholarship students in the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program outperformed public school comparison groups in language, social studies, and science.

Graduation Rates: One of the strongest indicators of academic achievement in school choice programs is seen in the higher graduation rates of students in these programs. In Washington, D.C., students who used their opportunity scholarships graduated at a rate of 91 percent, more than 21 percentage points higher than their public school counterparts. And in Milwaukee, students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program graduated at a rate of 18 percentage points higher than students in Milwaukee public schools.

Public School Benefits and Competition: Studies show that school choice programs also improve the performance of public schools. Twenty-eight percent of D.C. Public Schools adopted more innovative practices as a result of the creation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. And in Florida, the passage of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship in 2001 led to standardized test score gains in the public schools most likely to lose students to private schools.

Parental Satisfaction: School choice programs have very high parental satisfaction rates. Parental satisfaction in voucher programs, according to Dr. Patrick Wolf of the School Choice Demonstration Project at the University of Arkansas, is increased because of academics, curriculum, safety, parent-teacher relations, and religion. 3 In Washington, D.C., 80 percent of parents whose children used a voucher rated their child’s school with an A or B after one year. Parents also became more involved in their children’s education and became savvy educational consumers. 3 In Florida, 95.4 percent of parents participating in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship were satisfied with their children’s schools, rating the schools as “excellent” or “good,” according to a study commissioned by the Florida Department of Education. 3 In New Orleans, four consecutive surveys of low-income parents with children participating in the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program demonstrated satisfaction rates of over 90 percent.

Pg. 32

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Parents attend a sign-up event in New Orleans for the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program, which provides scholarships to students from low-income families attending failing schools in Orleans Parish.

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 33


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Parents rush to apply for D.C. private school vouchers By Robert Samuels

For eight years, Elaine Cousins has tried to secure her son a D.C. Opportunity Scholarship from the federally funded voucher program that helps low-income parents pay for local private schools. Nathan is 13 now, and she’s still trying. On Saturday, Cousins was one of hundreds of parents who attended an informational event at the Renaissance Hotel, near the Convention Center in Northwest, held by the trust that administers the $15 million program.

But vouchers are still a contentious issue in education and in politics. Teachers unions and other education groups claim they strain money and attention away from public schools. In May 2009, President Obama cut off funding for new students to enter the program. The program was fully reauthorized this winter, in part because of strong support from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the program’s connection to federal funding of the District’s public schools and its burgeoning charter school system.

“I don’t think everyone gets how important it is for parents to have options,’’ Cousins said. “We all want to find what’s best for our children, and nothing is more important than education.’’

The results are yet to be determined. A federal report, issued in 2009, reported that there was no conclusive evidence that students who received the vouchers were performing better academically. But it also noted that parents in the voucher An estimated 1,300 students will receive program were significantly more satisfied with vouchers, which are worth up to $12,000, to pay their education experience than public school for education ranging from kindergarten to 12th parents, and the trust cites a 91 percent graduation grade. Hundreds more are expected to apply. rate among its more than 3,300 recipients. Parents apply separately to the voucher program and to the schools of their choice; if there are more applicants to the voucher program than there is money available, the money is distributed by lottery.

Andrea Thomas, a 27-year-old mother of two from LeDroit Park, was jubilant at Saturday’s event. “We got the scholarship back!” she said. “They tried to take it from us.”

Elaine Cousins arrived at Saturday’s session a few minutes after 11 a.m., hoping this year would be different, nodding as a consultant detailed the application process to a room of 40 parents.

Because the budget was authorized late in the school year, the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Corporation has had limited time to publicize and recruit this year, according to consultant Jennifer Brown. But the organization will take applications through June ahead of the August lottery.

Originally authorized by the Bush administration, the program started in 2004 and offered students up to $7,500. The measure passed the House of Representatives, mostly along party lines, by one vote.

Cousins sat at a table with six other parents and began to fill out the paperwork. Across from her was Ofunne Olisameka, 26, who had already applied to a school for her kindergartner. “But it’s very expensive,’’ she said of The River School, which costs about $27,000. “But I want the best education for my son. This will help me afford it.” A former teacher in Prince George’s County, Cousins and her husband, Jeffrey, pulled their three children out of the school system to home-school them. They live in the Edgewood neighborhood in Northeast, and she recalled rowdy conditions during a visit to a neighborhood school. “There were kids getting beat up on the way home,” Cousins said. “And I said to myself, ‘That’s not going to happen to my child.’ ” Her daughter Kristin won a voucher in a lottery six years ago and attended Archbishop Carroll High School, a Catholic school in Northeast, where Cousins said she excelled. “It has to do with being in an environment where everybody is serious about education and wanting every child to succeed,” Cousins said. “When she graduated, I was so proud.” She carried her pride with her — literally. She had a suitcase packed with awards won by Kristin, now a 19-year-old student at Messiah College in Grantham, Penn.

When she had completed her application, she Applicants must show proof of residency. passed them around to the other parents at Participating families must also be food-stamp recipients or make no more than about $41,000 for the table. a family of four — 185 percent of the poverty level.

*Reprinted with permission

Pg. 34

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


The granddaughter of school choice advocate Virginia Walden Ford attends a June 13, 2011 event honoring Virginia’s work and dedication to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 35


Nearly 1,000 supporters attended an Atlanta-area community forum on school choice that featured gospel singer Marvin Sapp on December 7, 2011. Pg. 36

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


FEATURE -*-

Implementation Efforts Empower Families Nationwide In a year filled with historic successes around the country, school choice champions were under more pressure than ever to help parents take advantage of their newfound educational options. Read how they made it happen all across America. On the heels of a historic legislative victory that created the country’s most expansive voucher program ever, one could be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief. The bill creating the Choice Scholarship Program in Indiana had weathered the spring political storm and emerged intact, ready to give school choice to thousands of kids for the upcoming school year. But as Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed the bill into law to much fanfare, it didn’t mark the end of the long journey to bring widespread private school choice to the Hoosier State. In fact, it was just the beginning. Record Enrollment in the Hoosier State Whatever success was achieved in getting the legislation passed was outdone once the implementation process began. Thanks to the efforts of numerous allied organizations in states and at the national level, school choice champions across the country were able to accomplish their ultimate goal: making sure parents of low-income families knew about, and utilized, school choice. And even in the early stages of Indiana’s groundbreaking program — which, in addition to being the most expansive, provides for some of the country’s most sound accountability measures — it broke records. Thanks to a direct and personalized approach for their outreach efforts, Indiana allies — including School Choice Indiana, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, and other local organizations — helped enroll almost 4,000 children in the program during a short summer application window. Coupled with the geographic diversity the students provide is also the fact that 85 percent of them qualify for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program. And while it’s the most successful first-year enrollment ever for a voucher program, it was just one of 2011’s highly successful implementation efforts. Students and advocates participate in a school choice rally in Indiana on March 30, 2011.

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 37


FEATURE -*-

Advocates, parents, students, and legislators rally for school choice options in Columbus,Ohio on March 22, 2011. Raising the Bar in Ohio In late June, when a historic Ohio budget made the Buckeye State the first in the country with four voucher programs, a challenge came with the unprecedented legislative successes: enrolling students and informing parents during the six-week extension of the state’s flagship EdChoice Scholarship Program. Almost 1,700 students submitted applications during the summer extension, bringing the total enrollment to 16,136 for the 2011-12 school year. The more than 1,600 new applications were the most in four years, and they arose largely as a result of an extensive education campaign from School Choice Ohio and grassroots help on the ground. The process didn’t end when school began in the fall, however — the state budget also created a new special needs scholarship program set to begin next year, and there’s no rest for the weary: efforts are already underway by Ohio allies to make sure that all eligible families know their options.

Pg. 38

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


FEATURE -*Wisconsin’s expanded choices No conversation about new programs and expansion would be complete without mentioning the notable developments in Wisconsin, where in addition to helping thousands of newly eligible families join the expanded, two-decade-old Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, allies like School Choice Wisconsin helped families in Racine apply for the city’s new voucher program during its first year of existence. And although the cap will double next year, polls have shown strong support for more choice in Racine, meaning that there’s a real possibility that Racine families will reach the cap again in 2012-13. Many more spots were filled in the Milwaukee program, too, and a much larger group of schools stepped up to eagerly welcome kids into its buildings. As Wisconsin parents continued to demand more options for their communities, the work of allies on the ground made sure that their wishes did not go unheeded. Restoration and an Eye Toward the Future But it’s not just effective implementation efforts in the states that helped make 2011 a year of opportunity for families. The same took place in Washington, D.C., where following a successful fight to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, events across the city helped families apply, pick their schools, and even receive school supplies for the upcoming year. And we can’t forget about the hard work in places like Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana, too, where allied efforts helped programs expand.

Washington, D.C. students participating in the Opportunity Scholarship Program receive donated school supplies at an August 18, 2011 event where families learned about the participating private school options.

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 39


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Table of Contents State Profiles: Data and Program Accountability Provisions Arizona Douglas County, Colo.

46

Florida

47–48

Georgia

49–50

Indiana

51–52

Iowa Louisiana North Carolina

Pg. 40

42–45

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

53 54–55 56


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Ohio

57–60

Oklahoma

61–62

Pennsylvania

63

Rhode Island

64

Utah

65

Washington, D.C.

66

Wisconsin

67–68

A Note on Methodology 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. 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 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.

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 41


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Arizona: Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

Program Type Individual scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

Data Update

None specified in law Requirements may be determined by School Tuition Organizations Private school students also eligible

Scholarships Awarded

25,343*

Schools Participating

911

STOs Operating

49

2011 Expenditures

Scholarship Tuition Organization (STO) Requirements

$47,105,564

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 Cannot exchange recommendations of student beneficiaries with other donors Report annually to the state:

• Data on accepted contributions, grants awarded, dollar amount of scholarships granted to students who qualify for the free or

reduced-price lunch program, dollar amount of scholarships granted to those students whose household income falls between 185 percent and 342 percent of the federal poverty level ($41,348 and $76,437 for a family of four in 2011), amount of money being held for identified student scholarships in future years, a list of participating schools with the number and dollar amount of scholarship awards received, the pay of the STO’s top three officials for the fiscal year, and proof of independent review of financial statements by a certified public accountant

School Requirements

student participation

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



 

 

 

 

 

 

Scholarship Cap Tuition only

Tax Credit Value 100 percent of donation

Donor Tax Credit Cap $500 single $1,000 married couple

Statewide Cap None

– – – – – – – – –

Year Enacted

–

1997

–

*Alliance Estimate

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Arizona: Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

Program Type Corporate scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

Data Update

Family income cannot exceed 185 percent of the free or reduced-price lunch program ($76,494 for a family of four in 2011) Attended public school the previous year or entering kindergarten

Scholarships Awarded

4,578*

Schools Participating

342

STOs Operating

Scholarship Tuition Organization (STO) Requirements

17

2011 Expenditures

$9,189,905

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

• Data on accepted contributions, grants awarded, amount of money being held for identified student scholarships in future years, a list of participating schools with the number and dollar amount of scholarship awards received, the pay of the STO’s top three officials for the fiscal year, and 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 Administer annually and make publicly available the aggregate results of nationally norm-referenced, standardized achievement test

Scholarship Cap $4,800 – grades K–8 $6,100 – grades 9–12 Limits increase by $100 each year

Tax Credit Value 100 percent of donation

Donor Tax Credit Cap None

Statewide Cap $24.89 million (FY 2012) 20 percent annual increase each year

student participation

Year Enacted 2006

 – –

*Alliance Estimate

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Pg. 43


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Arizona: Lexie’s Law

Program Type Corporate scholarship tax credit program for students with disabilities and foster children

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Students who received vouchers under Arizona’s two previous voucher programs (for foster children and students with disabilities) receive priority in scholarships

* Attended 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

Scholarships Awarded

115*

Schools Participating

47

STOs Operating

5

2011 Expenditures

$561,029

high school or obtains a GED, OR

• have been identified as having a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, identified by a school district as a student with a disability, or identified as 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 * Allow the state to verify that scholarships issued are awarded to students attending a qualified school * Annually report to the state: • Data on accepted contributions, grants awarded, amount of money being held for identified student scholarships in future years, a list of participating schools with the number and dollar amount of scholarship awards received, the pay of the STO’s top three officials for the fiscal year, and proof of independent review of financial statements by a certified public accountant

School Requirements

* 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

* Whichever is less: • Tuition of private school • 90 percent of the cost to send the child to public school Donor Tax Credit Cap

* None Tax Credit Value

* 100 percent of donation

student participation

Statewide Cap 

* $5 million Year Enacted 2009

• In 2009, this program transitioned from a voucher

program to a scholarship tax credit program. Student enrollment data for years before 2009–10 is for the voucher program.

*Alliance Estimate Pg. 44

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Arizona: ARIZONA EMPOWERMENT SCHOLARSHIP ACCOUNTS PROGRAM

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PROGRAM

Program Type Education savings account

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Identified as a child with a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or

by a school district, or is eligible to receive special education services from a school district under state law

Accounts Awarded

142

2011 Expenditures

$1,506,250

* Attended public school as a full-time student for 100 days prior to the fiscal

year and who transferred to a qualified private school, or participated in the Empowerment Scholarship Account Program in the previous year, or received a scholarship under Lexie’s Law

* Have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) Parent Requirements

* Must sign an agreement to: • Provide an education in the subjects of reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies, and science • Not enroll student in a school district or charter school • Release the school district from all obligations to educate the student • Not accept a scholarship under any of Arizona’s tax credit scholarship programs • Use the money deposited in the empowerment account for purposes specified in the law School Requirements

* Cannot discriminate * Cannot share, refund, or rebate any empowerment account monies with the parent or student Scholarship Cap

* 90 percent of the state funding for each qualified student (takes into account grade and disability) Enrollment Cap

* None Program Funding

* No specific program appropriation Year Enacted 2011

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 45


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Colorado: Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program

NEW

PROGRAM

Program Type Universal voucher

Student Eligibility

* Live in the Douglas County School District * Attended a Douglas County School District school for at least one year * Satisfy all admission requirements of the selected private school School Requirements

* Be accredited by a recognized state or national accrediting organization * Demonstrate student achievement and growth results for participating students at least as strong as what district neighborhood and charter schools produce

* Disclose financial history, including the past three years of audited financial statements and documentation showing adequate insurance policies

* Private schools that have been operation for fewer than three years must demonstrate the ability to indemnify the District for any loss if the school closes

* Comply with building codes and have a safe school plan * Conduct criminal background checks on school employees * May not discriminate in employment or enrollment decisions * Must release participating students so the District can administer statewide or District assessments * Provide information on employment and enrollment policies, a description of student performance assessments, student conduct and discipline policies, description of governance and operations

Scholarship Cap

* Whichever is less: • Tuition of private school • 75 percent of state portion of per-pupil revenue Enrollment Cap

*500 Program Funding

*No specific program appropriation Year Enacted 2011

Program Update

A Colorado court has issued an injunction barring the program from moving forward. Appeals to that decision have been filed.

Pg. 46

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Florida: John M. McKay Scholarship for Students

ed

nd

with Disabilities Program

a exp

PROGRAM

Program Type Special needs voucher

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Have Individualized Education Program (IEP) * Have an accommodation plan under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act * Attended public school in any of the five years prior to the 2010–11

Scholarships Awarded

22,861

Schools Participating

1,050

2011 Expenditures

fiscal year

$148,849,829*

* 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 the state * Submit to the state annual sworn compliance reports regarding all local and state health and safety codes * Comply with federal nondiscrimination requirements of 42 U.S.C. s 2000d * Teachers and other school personnel working with scholarship recipients must undergo 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

* Report student’s progress to parents annually student participation

Scholarship Cap

* Whichever is less: • Amount of public school funding students would have



 

 

 

 

 

received

• Tuition and fees of private school Enrollment Cap

* None

– – –

Program Funding

–

* No specific program appropriation

–

Year Enacted

–

1999

– –

*Alliance Estimate

– – – – –

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 47


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Florida: Florida Tax credit Scholarship

ed

nd

a exp

PROGRAM

Program Type Corporate scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program ($41,348 for a family of four in 2011) * Attended public school the previous year or entering kindergarten or first grade * If a renewing student’s family income increases by 24 percent higher than the original entry threshold of the free or reduced-price lunch program, students are eligible for a partial scholarship

Scholarships Awarded

37,998

Schools Participating

1,180

SFOs Operating

1

2011 Expenditures

$175,000,000

Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) Requirements

* Use at least 97 percent of contributions for scholarships * SFOs with fewer 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 the state * Submit to the state annual sworn compliance reports regarding all local and state health and safety codes * Comply with federal nondiscrimination requirements of 42 U.S.C. s 2000d * Teachers and other school personnel working with scholarship recipients must undergo 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 value of the scholarship payments for one quarter * Any school receiving more than $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

* $4,011 for private school scholarship * $500 scholarship covering transportation to another public school * The scholarship cap for 2011–12 is 64 percent of the per-pupil school funding formula. The cap will increase to 68 percent in 2012–13 and will increase by 4 percent in any year in which the cap is raised until the cap reaches 80 percent



Tax Credit Value

–

* 100 percent of donation

–

Donor Tax Credit Cap

– –

* 100 percent of state tax liability

–

Statewide Cap

–

* $175 million (2011–12) * $218.7 million (2012–13) * Cap is allowed to increase by 25 percent in any year after 90 percent of the cap is reached

Year Enacted 2001 Pg. 48

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

student participation

– – – –

               

'+"+.+ ''"++& '&"+*/ '+"'() '-".'/ ('"*/) (*".-' (."/()*"++& )-"//.


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Georgia: Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program

Program Type Special needs voucher

Student Eligibility

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

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

2,965

Schools Participating

204

2011 Expenditures

$16,219,797

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: • Amount of public school funding student would have received • Tuition and fees of private school Enrollment Cap

* None Program Funding

* No specific program appropriation Year Enacted 2007

student participation  – – – – –



 

 

 

 

 

.// '"+/, ("&,. ("+(/ ("/,+

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 49


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Georgia: Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program

ed

nd

a exp

PROGRAM

Program Type Corporate and individual scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Attended public school the previous year or entering pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, or first grade

Scholarships Awarded

8,131*

Schools Participating

Not Available

Student Scholarship Organization (SSO) Requirements

SSOs Operating

* Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships * Make scholarships available for more than one school * Have an independent board of directors * Submit annually to the state: • Data on accepted contributions and tax credits approved • Independent review of financial statements by certified public accountant • Total number of students and total dollar value of scholarships awarded each year

2011 Expenditures

39 $50,000,000

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

* 100 percent of state and local per-pupil funding Tax Credit Value

* 100 percent of donation Donor Tax Credit Cap

* $1,000 single * $2,500 married couple * 75 percent of corporation’s state income tax liability Statewide Cap

* $50 million * The statewide cap on tax credits will increase by the annual growth of the Consumer Price Index beginning in 2012 Year Enacted student participation

2008 

*Alliance Estimate

– – –

Pg. 50

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

 

 

 

 

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Indiana: Corporate and Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Program

ed

nd

a exp

PROGRAM

Program Type Corporate and individual scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Family income cannot exceed 200 percent of the free or reduced-price lunch program ($82,696 for a family of four in 2011)

* Must have been enrolled in public school the prior year or be entering kindergarten or received a scholarship in the previous school year

Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) Requirements

Scholarships Awarded

590

Schools Participating

Not Available

SGOs Operating

4

2010 Donations

$814,106

* Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships * Certified by the state * Make scholarships available for more than one school * Conduct criminal background checks on all SGO employees and board members * Have an outside financial audit conducted and provide an annual report to the state School Requirements

* Be accredited by a national or regional accreditation agency that is recognized by the state board * Administer a nationally recognized and norm-referenced assessment to the students Scholarship Cap

* Tuition and fees Tax Credit Value

* 50 percent of donation * Donors cannot carry over credits from year to year Donor Tax Credit Cap

* None Statewide Cap

* $5 million Year Enacted 2009

student participation

 –











 +/&

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 51


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Indiana: Choice Scholarship Program

NEW

PROGRAM

Program Type Means-tested voucher

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Family income cannot exceed 100 percent of the free or reduced-price lunch program ($41,348 for a family of four in 2011) for a full scholarship

* Family income cannot exceed 150 percent of the free or reduced-price lunch

Scholarships Awarded

3,919

Schools Participating

241

2011 Expenditures

program ($62,021 for a family of four) for a partial scholarship

Not Available

* Attended public school for two semesters immediately prior to enrolling in the

Choice Scholarship Program or received a scholarship under the Corporate and Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Program

School Requirements

* Be accredited by either the state board or a national or regional accreditation agency that is recognized by the state board * Comply with health and safety codes * Must not discriminate on basis of race, color, or national origin * Conduct criminal background checks on employees * Submit to the state financial reporting on the amount of government funding received, funding disbursed, and school’s total disbursements

* Administer the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP) program and report to the state data for A–F ratings including ISTEP scores and graduation rates

• To remain eligible to accept new scholarship students, a school must not be rated as “D or Fâ€? for two or more consecutive years * Must grant the state full access to its premises for observing classroom instruction and reviewing any instructional materials and curriculum

* Provide civic and character education and display related historical documents Scholarship Cap

* Whichever is less: • Tuition and fees of private school • 90 percent of the state tuition support amount for students with a family income not exceeding 100 percent of the free or

reduced-price lunch program or 50 percent of the state tuition support amount for students with a family income not exceeding 150 percent of the free or reduced-price lunch program

• $4,500 for students in grades 1–8 Enrollment Cap

* 7,500 (2011–12) * 15,000 (2012–13) * Cap removed beginning in the 2013–14 school year

student participation

Program Funding

* No specific program appropriation Year Enacted 2011

Pg. 52

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

 –



 

 

 

 

 

 

  )"/'/


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Iowa: Individual and Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

ed

nd

a exp

PROGRAM

Program Type Individual and corporate scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

* Family income cannot exceed 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($67,050 for a family of four in 2011)

* Private school students also eligible Scholarship Tuition Organization (STO) Requirements

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

10,820*

Schools Participating

158

STOs Operating

12

2010 Donations

$11,538,448*

* 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

* Tuition only Tax Credit Value

* 65 percent of donation Donor Tax Credit Cap

* None Statewide Cap

* $7.5 million (Statewide cap on tax credits will increase to $8.75 million in 2012) • 25 percent for corporations • 75 percent for individuals and married couples Year Enacted 2006

student participation 

*Alliance Estimate – – – – – –

 

 

 

 

 

 

'', -"+(."-)/",(* '&"(&. '&".(&

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 53


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

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

Student Eligibility

* Family income cannot exceed 250 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($55,875 for a family of four in 2011)

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

1,848

Schools Participating

29

* Entering grades K–6 2011 Expenditures • One additional grade level of eligibility will be added each year * Attended an underperforming public school in previous year or entering kindergarten * Reside in Orleans Parish

$8,988,817

School Requirements

* Be approved by the state to participate * Comply with state nondiscrimination and health and safety requirements * Administer the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program and Integrated Louisiana Education Assessment Program exams to 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 • Tuition, fees, and costs associated with testing Enrollment Cap

* None Program Funding

* $9.7 million Year Enacted 2008

student participation  – – – –

Pg. 54

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12



 

 

 

,*& '"'&& '",-. '".*.


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

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

Student Eligibility

* Have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) * Be in need of services for autism, mental disability, emotional disturbance,

developmental delay, other health impairment specific learning disability, or traumatic brain injury

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

186

Schools Participating

22

2011 Expenditures

$400,627

* Eligible to attend a public school * Entering grades K-8 * Reside in one of the six largest parishes: Jefferson, East Baton Rouge, Orleans, Caddo, St. Tammany, or Lafayette * Private school students also eligible 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 • Tuition of private school Program Funding

* $650,000 Enrollment Cap

* None Year Enacted 2010

student participation  –







 '.,

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 55


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

North Carolina: TAX CREDITS FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

NEW

PROGRAM

Program Type Individual tuition tax credit for children with disabilities

Student Eligibility

* Identified as having a disability * Have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) * Receives special education or related services on a daily basis * Enrolled in a private school for one or two semesters during the taxable year * Is a child for whom the parent is entitled to deduct a personal exemption * Enrolled in a public school or receiving special education or related services through the public schools as a preschool child with a disability for the preceding two semesters

* Must be reevaluated every three years by the public school to verify that the child continues to be a child with a disability Parent Requirements

* Provide the state with requested information about the student and the student’s education, including the tuition, special education, and related services expenses

Tax Credit Amount

* Cost of tuition and special education services up to $6,000 per year, depending on the family tax liability Year Enacted 2011

Program Update

Individual Tuition Tax Credits: an individual state income tax credit of significant size for educational expenses, including private school tuition. While individual tuition tax credits currently exist in a small number of states, the Alliance only officially counts North Carolina’s Tax Credits for Children with Disabilities because it is the first credit that is sufficiently large enough to affect a family’s ability to place their child in private school.

Pg. 56

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Ohio: Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program

ed

nd

a exp

PROGRAM

Program Type Means-preferenced voucher

Student Eligibility

* Must live in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District * Priority given to students living below 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($44,700 for a family of four in 2011)

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

5,603

Schools Participating

36

2011 Expenditures

* Scholarship may continue throughout high school * Private school students also eligible

$21,000,000

School Requirements

* Be registered to participate and chartered by the state * Meet state standards for chartered non-public schools * Comply with state laws regarding nondiscrimination and health and safety codes * Administer the state tests, including the Ohio Graduation Test Scholarship Cap

* $4,250 – grades K–8 • Parents of low-income students must contribute 10 percent of the scholarship • Parents of other students must contribute 25 percent of the scholarship * $5,000 – grades 9–12 • Parents of low-income students must contribute 10 student participation percent of the scholarship

• Parents of other students must contribute 25 percent



of the scholarship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enrollment Cap

* None Program Funding

* $23.4 million Year Enacted 1995

– – – – – – – –

'"//* ("/'* )",-* )"*&, )"-/*"+() +"(.' +"..-

–

+"-'&

–

+".') ,"'',

–

,"(-)

– – – – –

+".*/ +"(-, +"**( +",&)

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 57


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Ohio: Autism Scholarship Program

Program Type Special needs voucher

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Be identified as autistic through assigned school district * Have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) * Private school students also eligible

Scholarships Awarded

2,236

Schools Participating

248

2011 Expenditures

$42,600,000

School Requirements

* Register with the state * Comply with state nondiscrimination codes * Demonstrate fiscal soundness * Have properly credentialed staff * Teachers and other staff working with children must undergo background checks * In operation at least 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 * Provide regular student progress reports to parents and resident public school Scholarship Cap

* $20,000 Enrollment Cap

* None Program Funding

* No specific program appropriation student participation

Year Enacted 2003 

– – – – – – – –

Pg. 58

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12



 

 

 

 

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Ohio: Educational Choice Scholarship Program

ed

nd

a exp

PROGRAM

Program Type Failing schools voucher

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* 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 or assigned to a school ranked in the bottom 10 percent of schools on the basis of its Performance Index score

Scholarships Awarded

16,136

Schools Participating

310

2011 Expenditures

$59,000,000

* Students entering kindergarten in one of these schools also qualify * Priority given to returning and low-income applicants School Requirements

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

* $4,250 – grades K–8 * $5,000 – grades 9–12 * Full tuition for students living under 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($44,700 for a family of four in 2011) Enrollment Cap

* 30,000 Program Funding

* No specific program appropriation Year Enacted 2005

student participation 0 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12

5,000

10,000

15,000

20,000

("-') -"'** '&"*)( ''"(*( ')"-)) ',"'),

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 59


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Ohio: Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program

NEW

PROGRAM

Program Type Special needs voucher

Student Eligibility

* Identified as a child with a disability by the school district * Have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) * Not receiving a scholarship under the Educational Choice Scholarship Program, the Autism Scholarship Program, or the

Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program for the same school year in which they are seeking the special needs scholarship

* In compliance with the state compulsory attendance law * Private school students also eligible School Requirements

* Registered by the state * Comply with state nondiscrimination laws * Meet health and safety standards * Submit in writing to the parents of the qualified special education child a profile of the provider’s special education program, including: methods of instruction that will be utilized to provide services to the child and the qualifications of teachers, instructors, and other persons who will provide services to the child

* Administer and report the results of the state’s tests, including the Ohio Graduation Test, unless the student is excused from taking that assessment under federal law or the student’s IEP

* Have properly credentialed staff * Educational program approved by the state * Provide record of the implementation of the IEP of each qualified special education student enrolled in the school, including evaluation of the child’s progress to the school district

* Submit to the state information on the type and cost of special education services given to scholarship recipients Scholarship Cap

* Whichever is less: • Fees of the private school • Student’s per-pupil special education funding amount based on disability, with a cap of $20,000 Enrollment Cap

* No more than 5 percent of Ohio students identified as children with disabilities during the previous fiscal year (approximately 12,000 scholarships)

Program Funding

* No specific program appropriation Year Enacted 2011

Program Update

This program is slated to begin in the 2012–13 school year.

Pg. 60

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Oklahoma: Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program

ed

nd

a exp

PROGRAM

Program Type Special needs voucher

Student Eligibility

* Have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in effect at the time the scholarship is requested

* Attended public school the previous school year * Children of U.S. military personnel transferring are exempt from prior year public

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

160

Schools Participating

40

2011 Expenditures

$1,000,000*

school attendance requirement

* Have regular and direct contact with private-school teachers at the physical location of the private school School Requirements

* Be accredited by the State Board of Education or approved accrediting association * Comply with state nondiscrimination and health and safety requirements * 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 the subjects taught

Scholarship Cap

* Whichever is less: • 100 percent of the state and local public school funding for each child (takes into account grade and disability) • Tuition and fees of the private school * The local school district may keep up to 5 percent of the scholarship amount for administrative services Enrollment Cap

* None Program Funding

* No specific program appropriation Year Enacted 2010

student participation *Alliance Estimate  – –









'& ',&

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 61


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Oklahoma: Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships

NEW

PROGRAM

Program Type Corporate and individual scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

* Family income cannot exceed 300 percent of the free or reduced-price lunch program ($124,000 for a family of four in 2011) * Attended or was eligible to attend a public school identified for school improvement pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 during the preceding school year

* Participating students and their siblings remain eligible until graduation * For the special needs portion of the scholarship, eligible students must have attended a public school and have an Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) Requirements

* Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships * Register as a scholarship-granting organization with the state * Spend portion of expenditures on scholarships for students who qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program ($41,348 for family of four in 2011) in an amount equal or greater to the percentage of eligible low-income students in the state

* Ensure scholarships are portable during the school year and can be used at any qualified school that accepts the eligible student * Conduct background checks on employees and board members * Maintain full and accurate records on contributions and expenditures and other documentation required by the state School Requirements

* Accredited by the state or a state-approved accrediting association * Comply with health and safety laws and codes * Has stated policy against discrimination * Ensures academic accountability through regular progress reports to parents Scholarship Cap

* Whichever is greater: • $5,000 • 80 percent of average per-pupil expenditure in the student’s school district • Up to $25,000 to cover the tuition, fees, and transportation costs at selected private school for special needs students Tax Credit Value

* 50 percent Donor Tax Credit Cap

* $1,000 individuals * $2,000 married couples * $100,000 corporations Statewide Cap

* 3.5 million • $1.75 million individuals and married couples • $1.75 million corporations Year Enacted 2011

Pg. 62

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Program Update

Because this program was enacted in 2011, it has not yet received donations or granted scholarships at this time.


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Pennsylvania: Educational Improvement Tax Credit

Program Type Corporate scholarship tax credit

Student Eligibility

Data Update

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

* Private school students also eligible * For special needs students, family income cannot exceed $60,000, with an

additional $12,000 per dependent multiplied by 1.5 for students not enrolled in special education schools (Support Level 1) or 2.9993 for students enrolled in special education schools (Support Level 2)

Scholarships Awarded

40,876

Schools Participating

Not Available

STOs Operating

234

2010 Donations

$48,242,880*

* Beginning in July 2012, the income eligibility will be adjusted annually to reflect growth of the Consumer Price Index Scholarship Organization (SO) Requirements

* Use at least 80 percent of contributions for scholarships * Make scholarships available for more than one school * Submit annual report detailing donations received and scholarships awarded to the state School Requirements

* Comply with the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 * Meet state health and safety codes * Teachers and other employees working with children must undergo background checks Scholarship Cap

* Tuition and fees Tax Credit Value

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

student participation

Donor Tax Credit Cap



 

 

 

 

 

* $300,000 Statewide Cap

* $44.7 million (out of $75 million total)

– – –

Year Enacted

–

2001

– –

'-")+& (&"(&. (+".-+ (,"-&' (/",). ),"+*& **"))*

–

*Alliance Estimate

– – –

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 63


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

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

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Family income cannot exceed 250 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($55,875 for a family of four in 2011)

* Other criteria determined by Scholarship Granting Organization * Private school students also eligible

Scholarships Awarded

341

Schools Participating

55

SGOs Operating

5

2011 Expenditures

$592,015

Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) Requirements

* Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships * Provide annual report to the 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 nondiscrimination laws * Meet state health and safety codes * Require teachers to have bachelor’s degrees * Conduct teacher background checks Scholarship Cap

* None Tax Credit Value

* 75 percent of one-year donation * 90 percent of two-year donation Donor Tax Credit Cap

* $100,000 Statewide Cap

* $1 million Year Enacted 2006

student participation  – –











(-. )(. +''

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– –

Pg. 64

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12



)*'


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Utah: Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship ed

nd

a exp

PROGRAM

Program Type Special needs voucher

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Identified as disabled and have an Individualized Education Program (IEP)

* Currently attending an eligible private school and be determined in need of

Scholarships Awarded

635

Schools Participating

40

2011 Expenditures

specialized services

$3,734,000

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 teacher’s credentials Scholarship Cap

* Based on state’s public school funding formula • $7,040 – three or more hours of services • $4,224 – less than three hours of services Enrollment Cap

* None student participation

Program Funding

* 3.75 million



















Year Enacted 2005

– – – – –

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– –

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 65


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

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

d& ortheened st Re g en Str PROGRAM

Program Type Means-tested voucher

Student Eligibility

* Qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program ($41,348 for a family of four in

2011) or participated in the program in the preceding year and has a family income of up to 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($67,050 for a family of four in 2011)

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

1,615

Schools Participating

53

2011 Expenditures

$13,697,550

* Priority given to students who attend schools deemed in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under the federal No Child Left Behind Act; were awarded a scholarship in the preceding year; or have a sibling participating in the program * Low-income students in other public schools are given second priority * Students currently attending private school are given third priority * Must take national norm-referenced standardized test School Requirements

* Must not discriminate * Comply with district health and safety codes * Maintain a valid certificate of occupancy * 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 site visits by the administering program entity * Administer a nationally norm-referenced standardized test, and a comparative evaluation will be conducted utilizing D.C. Public Schools, Charter Schools, and OSP school testing data

* Submit proof of financial sustainability for schools in operation for five years or less * Has financial systems in place to ensure that funds are used appropriately Scholarship Cap

student participation

* $8,000 – grades K–8 * $12,000 – grades 9–12





 

 

 

Enrollment Cap

* None

–

program funding

–

* $20 million authorized

–

Year Enacted 2004

'"&(( '"-'( '"-// '"/))

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– – –

Pg. 66

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Wisconsin: Milwaukee Parental Choice Program ed

nd

a exp

PROGRAM

Program Type Means-tested voucher

Student Eligibility

* Live in the Milwaukee Public School District * Family income below 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($67,050 for

a family of four in 2011), with an additional $7,000 allowed for households with married parents.

Data Update Scholarships Awarded

23,198

Schools Participating

106

2011 Expenditures

$144,300,800

* Private school students also eligible School Requirements

* Meet state nondiscrimination policies * Meet state health and safety codes * Allow students to opt out of religious programs * Administer state testing to scholarship recipients in grade 4, 8, and 10 and provide scores to the School Choice Demonstration Project

* Receive accreditation within three years of participating in Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (current participating schools adding grades or creating a new school are exempt)

* Submit an annual financial audit conducted by a certified public accountant to the state *Provide evidence of sound fiscal practices and financial

student participation

viability to the state

* 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 state with information about the academic program at the participating school and student test score data

Scholarship Cap

* $6,442 Enrollment Cap

* None Program Funding

* $139.1 million (2011–12) Year Enacted 1990

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

))+&* +/' -'. -., '")(& '",&, '"+&' +"-*& -"+/, /"'&* '&")/' ''"(&/ '("-.. '*"*('+"(-* '-"'(, '."++& '/"*'* (&")(. (&"//, ()"'/.

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

Pg. 67


School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Wisconsin: Racine Parental Choice Program NEW

PROGRAM

Program Type Means-tested voucher

Student Eligibility

Data Update

* Live in Racine Unified School District * Family income below 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($67,050 for family of four in 2011), with an additional $7,000 allowed for households with married parents

Scholarships Awarded

228

Schools Participating

8

2011 Expenditures

$1,546,100

* Enrolled in public school in the Racine Unified School District the previous school year; entering school for the first time; or applying to attend kindergarten, first grade or ninth grade at a participating private school

* Priority given to students that qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch program ($41,348 for family of four in 2011) in the program’s first year

School Requirements

* Meet state nondiscrimination policies * Meet health and safety codes * Allow students to opt out of religious programs * Administer state testing to scholarship recipients in grades 4, 8, and 10 * Receive accreditation within three years of participating in the Racine Parental Choice Program * Submit an annual financial audit conducted by a certified public accountant to the state * Provide evidence of sound fiscal practices and financial viability to the state * 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

* 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 state with information about the academic program at the participating schools and student test score data Scholarship Cap

* $6,442 Enrollment Cap

* 250 scholarships (2011–12) * 500 scholarships (2012–13) * Cap removed beginning in the 2013–14 school year Program Funding student participation

*$1,610,500 (2011–12) Year Enacted













2011 –

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

((.


Families wait to sign up for the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program in New Orleans, which provides disadvantaged students stuck in failing schools the opportunity to attend the school of their parents’ choice. School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of 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 policy, 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. These charts detail the accountability provisions that exist in school choice programs.

Standardized Assessments

a

a

a

Public Reporting of Results Independent Evaluation

Proof of Financial Viability

Academic Accountability

Annual Financial Reporting

Background Checks

Financial Accountability

State

Program Name

Douglas County, Colo.

Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program

a a a

Florida

John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program

a a a

a

Georgia

Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program

a a

a

Indiana

Choice Scholarship Program

a a a

Louisiana

Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program

a a

Louisiana

School Choice Pilot Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities

a a

Ohio

Educational Choice Scholarship Program

a a a

Ohio

Autism Scholarship Program

a a a

Ohio

Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program

a a a

Ohio

Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program

a a a

Oklahoma

Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program

a a

Utah

Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship

a a a

a

a

a*

Washington, D.C.

D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

a a

a

a

a

a a

Wisconsin

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

a a

a

a

a

a a

Wisconsin

Racine Parental Choice Program

a a

a

a

a

a

*Not necessarily a standarized test; law requires a formal testing procedure Pg. 70

Nondiscrimination

Voucher Programs

Health and Safety

Administrative Accountability

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a a

a

a a


State

Program Name

Arizona

Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

a a a a

Arizona

Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

a a a a

Arizona

Lexie’s Law

a a a a

Florida

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship

Georgia

Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program

Indiana

Corporate and Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Program

Iowa

Individual and Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

Oklahoma

Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships

Pennsylvania

Educational Improvement Tax Credit

a

a a a

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit

a

a a a

State

Program Name

Arizona

Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program

Independent Evaluation

Public Reporting of Results

a a

a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a

a a

a a a a a a a a a

a

Independent Evaluation

Public Reporting of Results

Academic Accountability Standardized Assessments

Annual Audits (Random Sample)

Financial Accountability Proof of Financial Viability

Background Checks

Nondiscrimination

Health and Safety

Administrative Accountability

Education Savings Accounts

Academic Accountability

Standardized Assessments

Proof of Financial Viability

Background Checks

Nondiscrimination

Health and Safety

Annual Financial Reporting

School Administrative and Financial Accountability

Submit Donation & Scholarship Details

Scholarship Tax Credit Programs

SGO Administrative and Financial Accountability Background Checks

School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

a

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

National Organizations Supporting School Choice Alliance for School Choice AllianceForSchoolChoice.org

Education Reform Now EdReformNow.org

American Center for School Choice AMCSC.org

Foundation for Excellence in Education ExcelInEd.org

American Federation for Children FederationForChildren.org

friedman Foundation for Educational Choice EdChoice.org

Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) BAEO.org

Heartland Institute Heartland.org

Brookings Institution Brookings.edu

Heritage Foundation Heritage.org

CATO Institute CATO.org

Hispanic Council for Reform & Educational Options (HCREO) HCREO.com

Center for American Private Education (CAPE) CapeNet.org Center for Education Reform EdReform.com Democrats for Education Reform DFER.org Education Action Group Foundation EducationActionGroup.org Education Breakthrough Network EdBreakthrough.org

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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 Now: The Year of School Choice

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

New Mexico Educate New Mexico EducateNM.org

Florida Step Up for Students StepUpForStudents.com

North Carolina Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina PEFNC.org

Georgia Center for an Educated Georgia EducatedGeorgia.org

Ohio School Choice Ohio SCOhio.org

Indiana School Choice Indiana SchoolChoiceIndiana.org

Pennsylvania REACH Foundation PASchoolChoice.org

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

Students First PAC StudentsFirstPAC.com

Louisiana Louisiana BAEO Louisiana.BAEO.org Louisiana Federation for Children Louisiana4Children.org Maryland Building Opportunities for All Students and Teachers (BOAST) BOASTMaryland.org 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 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

We Can Do Better NJ WeCanDoBetterNewJersey.org

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

About Us Mission

To improve our nation’s K-12 education by advancing systemic and sustainable public policy that empowers parents, particularly those in low-income families, to choose the education they determine is best for their children. Board of Directors Betsy DeVos, Chairman John F. Kirtley, Vice Chairman Bill Oberndorf, Chairman Emeritus The Hon. Kevin P. Chavous Boykin Curry Peter Flanigan Joel Greenberg Carrie Penner

“Our future lies in how we educate the next generation. It’s time for us to help all kids, regardless of their ZIP code, to ensure that they get the opportunities they deserve.” – The Hon. Kevin P. Chavous

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Sources and Credits The authors of School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice 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 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, Whitney Rhoades, John Schilling, and Andrew Campanella 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 All of the photographs that appear in School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice were provided by school choice organizations across the country. We are enormously grateful to the following organizations for providing photographs for use in this publication: • Black Alliance for Educational Options • Center for an Educated Georgia • Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options • Office of the Speaker of the House, U.S. House of Representatives • Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina • School Choice Indiana • School Choice Ohio • Students First Pennsylvania Research Facts: School Choice Studies by the Numbers Evaluation of the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program: Technical Report 1998-2004, Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, February 2006. Evaluation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, Institute of Education Sciences, United States Department of Education, April 2005-June 2010. Evaluation of Florida’s Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program: Participation, Compliance, and Test Scores in 2007–08, Northwestern University and National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2009. Evaluation of Florida’s Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program: Participation, Compliance, and Test Scores in 2008–09, Northwestern University and National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2010.

School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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School Choice Now: The Year of School Choice

Sources and Credits Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, School Choice Demonstration Project, University of Arkansas, February 2008–December 2010. Graduation Rates for Choice and Public School Students in Milwaukee, 2003–2009, University of Minnesota, 2009. Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence Program Parental Satisfaction Survey, Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options, December 2008 and November 2009. State Profiles Arizona: Information on the Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit, Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit, and Lexie’s Law provided by the Arizona Department of Revenue (Georganna Meyer). Information on the Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program provided by the Arizona Department of Education. Florida: Information on the John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program was provided by the Florida Department of Education (Christopher Fenton and Laura Harrison). Information on the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship was provided by Step Up for Students (Jon East), which administers the program. Georgia: Information on the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program was provided by the Georgia Department of Education (Carmen Hernandez-Freemire). Information on the Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program was provided by the Georgia Department of Revenue (Monique R. Williams). Indiana: Information provided by the Indiana Department of Education (Neil Ruddock). Iowa: Information provided by the Iowa Department of Revenue (Jim McNulty). Louisiana: Information provided by the Louisiana Department of Education (Daniel Fuchs and Erin Bendily). Ohio: Information provided by the Ohio Department of Education (Sue Cosmo). Oklahoma: Information provided by the Oklahoma Department of Education (Anita Eccard). Pennsylvania: Information provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (Edward Jordan). Rhode Island: Information provided by the Rhode Island Department of Revenue (Donna Rube). Utah: Information provided by the Utah State Office of Education (Barbara Bickmore). Washington, D.C.: Information provided by the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (Salma Kahn), which administers the program. Wisconsin: Information provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (Molly J. Koranda).

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School Choice Yearbook 2011–12

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1660 L Street, NW, Suite 1000 Washington, D.C. 20036 Phone: 202.280.1990 Email: info@AllianceforSchoolChoice.org

www.AllianceforSchoolChoice.org


School Choice Yearbook 2011–12