2023-2024 Indiana Education and Voucher Funding Summary

While the overall Indiana General Fund Budget has grown faster than inflation, growth in Indiana’s budget for public school personnel has not. As of October of 2023, the current budget to pay the majority of the personnel in public, charter, and voucher-receiving schools is $232M behind the 2009-10 budget when inflation is taken into account.

All comparisons run from Jan of 2010 to Oct of 2023 unless noted.

The Consumer Price Index (inflation rate) has grown by 41.99%.

The Indiana General Fund (i.e., monies legislators control) has grown by 62.46%, much better than inflation. The state has a lot more money to spend than it did in 2009-10 relative to inflation.

The K-12 Tuition Support Budget has grown by only 38.37%, well behind inflation. The Tuition Support Budget funds nearly all personnel working in public, charter, and voucher-receiving schools.

This $232M deficit is even worse when the Tuition Support budget is examined on a per student allocation. Here are the enrollment numbers for 2009-10 to 2023-24.

YearPublic and CharterVouchersTotal
2018-191,028,744 36,3281,065,072
2019-201,024,765 36,2741,061,039
2020-211,006,380 35,0931,041,473
2021-221,010,806 43,4961,054,302
2022-231,007,875 52,6721,060,447
2023-241,005,880 68,7351,074,515

In the 2009-10 school year the General Assembly took over the responsibility of paying Indiana’s educators. That year, the General Assembly allocated $6192 per student to the Tuition Support Budget for that purpose.

This year the Tuition Support Budget allocates $8321 per student. That allocation is calculated by adding the number of Public and Charter students to 90% of the Voucher students (Vouchers are worth 90% of the tuition support) divided by the total Tuition Support Budget.

If the per student allocation had kept pace with inflation, the Tuition Support Budget would allocate $8791 per student (Public, Charter, and .9 of Voucher), and would produce a total budget of $9,387,038,395. The current budget is $502.5M less.

How Vouchers Work

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.

All qualifying children can receive a Voucher worth 90% of their local public school’s per student funding. With the increase to the maximum family income level to qualify, approximately 90% of private school students are now eligible for a voucher. This has significantly increased the number of vouchers and the cost of the program. If the voucher program was a school district, it would be larger than the two largest school districts (Indianapolis Public Schools and Fort Wayne Public Schools) combined.

Voucher money is not deducted from local schools, it is taken out of the Tuition Support Budget, (there is not a simple transfer of funds between the two schools) and impacts the funding of all school districts. In 2023-2024, the cost of Vouchers is about $437.8M. It should be noted the expense of the Voucher Program for the 2022-23 school year was around $313.7M. This is an increase of $124.1M (or 39.5%) for the 2023-24 school year. There is very little to no accountability for how voucher-receiving schools spend the money.

Essentially the Voucher Program has increased the number of students being funded in the Tuition Support Budget without a corresponding increase in funding by the General Assembly. This impacts the amount of money allocated per student for the whole state and directly impacts all teachers’ pay.

Fiduciary Oversight

**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.

The link below will take you to a Google sheet with the latest data:

2023-24 School Finance Google Data Sheets


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


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