Submitted by Phil on Sun, 03/13/2022 – 15:01
The link below will take you to a google sheet with the latest voucher/financial data
School Funding and Indiana’s Choice Program Talking Points
All comparisons run from Jan of 2010 to Oct of 2021 unless noted
2021-2022 Executive Summary
Growth in Indiana’s budget for public school personnel has not kept up with growth in its general fund or even inflation. As of October of 2021, the current budget for public school personnel is $295M behind the 2009-10 budget when inflation is taken into account. The current budget, when passed, had significantly made up the difference; however, recent spikes in inflation have eaten into those gains.
Vouchers are also funded from the budget for public school personnel. In 2021-2022, about $258.9M of this budget was utilized to fund Vouchers — with very little accountability.
The girls and boys attending Indiana’s public schools are currently educated utilizing a budget that is lagging by $554M.
Indiana’s General Fund (i.e., monies legislators control)
The Consumer Price Index (inflation rate) has grown by 27.64%.
The Indiana General Fund has grown by 36.21%.
K-12 Tuition Support Budget has grown by only 23.04%.
Tuition Support funds nearly all personnel working in public schools.
Considering inflation, but momentarily ignoring the impact of Vouchers, the Tuition Support Budget is $295,134,026 behind 2010 funding for the current school year.
How Vouchers Work
Depending on family income and number in the household, all qualifying children can receive a Voucher worth 90% of their local public school’s per student funding; this is new this year.
To qualify, the student must be a member of a household with an annual income of not more than 300% of the amount required for the individual to qualify for the Free/Reduced Lunch program. There are a few exceptions.
Nearly 61% of Voucher recipients have never attended a public school, but are now an additional cost taken from the Tuition Support Budget.
Of the remaining 39%, the majority attended public schools for only one year before the Voucher program, but not the same year.
There are 330 schools receiving Vouchers.
The average public school student receives a little more than $6600, the average Voucher student receives a little more than $5900.
The Voucher money is not taken from the local school, it is taken out of the Tuition Support Budget, (there is not a simple transfer of funds between the two schools) thereby decreasing the dollars for all public schools.
Public school enrollment during 2009-2021 is volatile, ranging from an increase of 3523 students in 2017-18 to a decrease of 4877 students in 2011-12. The pandemic caused a significant drop of 18,385 public and charter students and 1,181 Voucher students. This year, public and charter enrollment went from 1,006,380 to 1,010,806 students and Voucher enrollment went from 35,093 to 43,496 students.
Essentially the Voucher Program has increased the number of students funded in the Tuition Support Budget without a corresponding increase in funding. This impacts the amount of money allocated per student by Indiana. In short, the Voucher Program decreases funding for all public school students.
In 2009-10, the Tuition Support Budget allocation divided by enrolled public school students was $6,192
In 2021-22, the Tuition Support Budget allocation divided by only the enrolled public school students would be $7,816, which is a 26.2% increase from 2009-10. However, the addition of Voucher students cut the average to $7,524 – only a 21.5% increase while the rate of inflation was 27.6%.
This results in approximately $258.9 million taxpayer dollars spent to fund vouchers that could have been utilized for the benefit of girls and boys attending public schools.
There is no fiduciary oversight by the state of the Voucher money.
There are no requirements that keep Voucher taxpayer dollars from being used to enable the receiving organization to redirect its existing money for non-education purposes.
IDOE – Students Mobility After ADM Count Date request
IDOE – Historic Voucher v Traditional Enrollment numbers request
IDOE – Number of teachers request
Budget Numbers from https://www.in.gov/sba/2364.htm
IDOE Public Corporation Transfer Report
Bureau of Labor Statistics