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October 1, 2013

School voucher requests double again

State received 20,047 applications for the 2013-14 school year.

(Continued)

Teresa Brown, the Education Department’s assistant superintendent of outreach, said the agency created an outreach division for school improvement in May aimed at improving schools. Thirteen regional coordinators are providing technical support by helping schools as they try to improve.

“Whether that is professional development or helping them analyze data or if they need a community partner, if they need somebody to help them with after-school resources,” she said. “They’re looking at what schools need to improve student achievement and helping them with that.”

Wiley said she doesn’t expect to see the number of students applying for vouchers to continue to double, saying she expects demand to level off and saying there aren’t enough spaces in private schools available. A 2010 study indicated that there were about 22,000 seats available in private schools in Indiana. She said that number likely has grown as some schools have expanded the past several years. She said another capacity study is planned.

John Elcesser, executive director of the Indiana Non-Public Education Association, said he has not heard of schools having to turn students away because they are full, but said some are nearing capacity.

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