(NAPSI)—As the current administration shines a spotlight on school choice, families around the country are opening their minds to new educational opportunities.
Many states are inspired by Indiana’s tax-credit scholarships and school voucher program, which, a recent EdChoice and Hanover Research study discovered, are not only popular, but also increase parental involvement in their children’s education.
Indiana is home to the nation’s largest, single statewide school voucher program. Vouchers give parents the freedom to choose a private school for their children using all or part of the public funding set aside for their children’s education.
Here’s what the survey found:
• The vast majority of parents are somewhat or completely satisfied with the state’s voucher and tax-credit scholarship programs.
• Sixty-one percent say they communicate with teachers and participate in school activities more and 55 percent say they volunteer or perform community service more.
• Parents value the opportunity to choose a school they believe is a better fit for their child. Parents also value the freedom to choose a school outside their neighborhood.
• Private school parents are significantly more likely than district school parents to report satisfaction with their children’s current schools.
• Of the students who have left school choice programs, most have done so because they graduated or program restrictions rendered them ineligible. Few if any leave because they’re unhappy with the program or their schools.
• More than a third of parents who never had a child in the programs were unaware of them.
• Most parents whose kids are not participating in the programs would if they qualified or if the award amount fully covered tuition and expenses.
• On average, three-fifths of parents using the programs found it somewhat or very easy to find their children’s current schools.
Many parents and educators believe all families deserve the opportunity to choose the best educational fit for their children, regardless of their income or zip code.
That’s the idea behind EdChoice, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing full and unencumbered educational choice as the best pathway to successful lives and a stronger society. “Indiana is a national leader when it comes to the way our programs operate and the number of students we’re able to serve, but we’ve still got work to do making sure families know these programs are available to help their students,” said Robert Enlow, the group’s president and CEO. “Parents want options, and we need to do a better job letting them know those options are out there.”
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