Cherry: Expanding educational options for students, families

Posted by: Lydia Kirschner  | Friday, January 29, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Jan. 29, 2021

Expanding educational options for students, families

Parents deserve the flexibility to make decisions about their child's education. This session, I'm authoring legislation to expand eligibility for Indiana's Choice Scholarship program, empowering more parents to decide which school best meets their child's unique needs. 

Our education system should provide every Hoosier student with the best possible start. A family's income level or ZIP code should not dictate a student's success. Fortunately, Indiana excels in putting students and their families in control of their education. Last year, our state was ranked third in the nation for parent empowerment by the Center for Education Reform.

To support Hoosier families in making these decisions for their children, Indiana's Choice Scholarship program provides scholarships to eligible, low-income students to offset tuition costs at participating schools. Students must satisfy both household income requirements and eligibility criteria to qualify. Participating schools and interested parents work together to enroll students and submit Choice Scholarship applications to the Indiana Department of Education.

House Bill 1093, which I am authoring, would make changes to the eligibility requirements for the Choice Scholarship. Currently, there is a restriction in place affecting a student's eligibility for the Choice Scholarship if they were enrolled in a specific early childhood program. The proposed legislation would repeal this provision. Early childhood programs start a child’s education and should be used as a tool to cultivate their academic success, not limit future opportunities. The early years in a student's academic career may give parents insight on the type of environment their child works best in, enabling them to make a decision on where their child should continue to learn and grow.

Our students deserve to learn in a setting that works best for them, regardless of income, status or address. This legislation aims to make it easier for parents to find the learning environment that best suits their child by lessening eligibility restrictions on the Choice Scholarship program. To learn more about House Bill 1093 and other legislation, visit iga.in.gov. For questions or input, please call 317-232-9651 or email H53@iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) represents House District 53,

which includes portions of Hancock and Madison counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.