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January 29, 2013

Westside school hosting school choice info night

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s School Choice voucher program continues to ascend in popularity, doubling to more than 8,000 vouchers issued this past school year from the previous year, but according to the Indiana Department of Education, that’s only about half the amount available to students.

With that in mind, Providence Cristo Rey, a 3-year-old private school on the city’s westside, will host School Choice Parent Information Night at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30 to allow parents to learn about the voucher program, ask questions, and get information on a well of untapped scholarships that students could earn.

Kent Martin from School Choice Indiana will be on hand to explain the voucher system and the eligibility, and to talk about how parents can apply. There will also be a representative from Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program to talk about how students can apply to obtain money for college.

“I think the first thing that people wonder is whether they qualify or not,” said Andrea Fagan of Providence Cristo Rey High School. “The vouchers are tied to income qualifications so the first step in finding out is taking a look at your eligibility, based on income and household size.”

Fagan explained that voucher amounts are tied to the tuition of where the potential student is moving in coordination with what school they are leaving to go there.

“Let’s say they start out at a middle school in Wayne Township,” she said. “So there’s a certain value of the voucher that is fixed based on where they’re going to school, and so that amount of money is portable and offsets the cost of the school.”

Fagan said the maximum voucher amount would be $6,000, so if a student was moving to a school that had $12,000 yearly tuition, the student would still be responsible for making up the difference to attend.

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