May 7, 2011

BEING LIKE W:

Indiana's Great Education Leap: The Hoosier State passes vouchers and dissolves teacher tenure. (WSJ, 5/06/11)

School choice is gaining new momentum, and one of the biggest political breakthroughs came this week in Indiana. Governor Mitch Daniels signed legislation Thursday that includes far-reaching reforms in teacher assessment and tenure, as well the most ambitious voucher program in memory.

Under the new law, the state will provide 7,500 publicly financed scholarships of up to $4,500 a year to Hoosier elementary school kids who have been in public schools for the last two semesters and then want to attend another school, public or private. That scholarship number rises to 15,000 in the second year, with no cap in the third year and beyond. High school students can also qualify for a voucher of up to 90% of the state public school support, which varies by school district.

The thinking here is that parents have to give the public schools a try, but then their children shouldn't be trapped by inferior schools merely because of where they live. The voucher is means-tested by family income up to a maximum of roughly $60,000 or so, with lower-income families getting a larger payment. Mr. Daniels says about half of all Hoosier school children will qualify.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at May 7, 2011 7:53 AM
  
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