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School Choice Programs Across the Nation

There are 21 school voucher programs in 18 states plus the District of Columbia and Douglas County, Colorado. During the 2013-2014 school year, 115,580 students participated in private school voucher programs and $1.2 billion was spent on school voucher programs nationwide.

Florida
 The John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program provides private school vouchers to assist children with special needs in Florida. Enacted in 1999, the program serves 60,000 students and expends $286 million *. For information on applying, visit the Florida Department of Education.

Georgia
 The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program is a special needs voucher that provides scholarships for children to attend private school. In the 2013-2014 school year, the program served 3,400 students and expended $13,649,093*. For information on applying, visit the Georgia Department of Education.

Indiana
 The Choice Scholarship Program, the nation’s broadest voucher program, provides scholarships to low and middle-income students. Students must take the state standardized assessment and participating schools that receive a grade D or F in two consecutive years must suspend admitting new scholarship students until test scores improve. In the 2013-2014 school year, the program served 19,809 students and expended $81,066,786*. For information on applying, visit the Indiana Department of Education.

Louisiana 
The Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence provides private school vouchers to assist low-income children in failing schools in New Orleans. Both a means-tested and a failing schools voucher, the program awarded 6,775 scholarships and expended $24,536,161* in 2013-2014. For information on applying, visit the Louisiana Department of Education.

The School Choice Pilot Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities is a special needs voucher program enacted in 2010. In the 2013-2014 school year, the program served 245 students and expended $534,898*. For information on applying, visit the Louisiana Department of Education.

Mississippi The Dyslexia Scholarship voucher program was enacted in 2012, and serves students, grades 1-6, who have been diagnosed with dyslexia. During the 2013-2014 school year, the program served 73 students, expending $330,681.

The Mississippi Speech-Language Therapy Scholarship For Students With Speech-Language
Impairments Program, enacted in 2013, is a special needs voucher program, serving students grades K-6. The program will begin to distribute funds for the 2014-2015 school year.

North Carolina The Opportunity Scholarship Program, enacted in 2013, is a means-tested voucher. Scholarships will not be awarded until the 2014-2015 school year. In its first year, the scholarship program aims to serve about 2,400 students.

The Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grant, enacted in 2013, is a voucher for students with special needs. 

Ohio
 The Educational Choice Scholarship Program, enacted in 2005, is a failing schools voucher that was expanded to provide over 31,000 scholarships in 2011-2012 and 60,000 scholarships in 2012-2013. The program provides scholarships of $4,250 for students in grades K-8 and of $5,000 for students in grades 9-12. The program served 16,136 students and expended $62 million* in 2011-2012. In the 2013-2014 school year, 18,080 students participated in the program. For information on applying, visit the Ohio Department of Education.

The Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Programs provide private school vouchers to assist low-income children in Cleveland, Ohio. The program was expanded to increase scholarship amounts and allows high school students to participate in the program without having received a scholarship in the 8th grade. The programs served 6,001 students and expended $22.9 million* in 2012-2013. The Income-Based Scholarship Program, enacted in 2013, served 992 students, awarding $8.5 million. For information on applying, visit the Ohio Department of Education.

The Autism Scholarship Program provides private school vouchers to assist children with autism in Ohio. Created in 2003, the program has a scholarship cap of $20,000. The program served 2,241 students and expended about $37 million* in 2012-2013. For information on applying, visit the Ohio Department of Education.

The Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program provides scholarships to students who have an Individualized Education Program. Students receive 90 percent of the per-pupil state funding, up to $20,000. The program is capped at 5 percent of students in the state with special needs, or approximately 13,000 students. The program was created in the 2011 Ohio state budget and was slated to begin in the 2012-2013 school year. In the 2012-2013 school year, 1,342 students were awarded scholarships. For information on applying, visit the Ohio Department of Education.

Oklahoma
 The Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program provides private school vouchers to assist children with special needs in Oklahoma. The program served 290 students and expended $1,312,773* in 2013-2014. For information on applying, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Utah
 The Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship provides private school vouchers to assist children with special needs in Utah. The program served 650 students and expended $3,892,000* in 2013-2014. For more information on applying visit Parents for Choice in Education.

Wisconsin
 The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, created in 1990, provides private school vouchers to assist low-income children in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the 2013-2014 school year, 24,938 students participated, and the program expended $160,653,817*. For information on applying, visit the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

The Racine Parental Choice Program, created in 2011, provides private school vouchers for low-income students in the Racine Unified School District. The program resembles the highly effective Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. In the 2013-2014 school year, the program served 1180 students and expended $7,605,425*. For information on applying, visit the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

The Wisconsin Parental Choice Program was enacted in 2013. This past school year, 500 scholarships were awarded, totaling $3,221,000 in expenditures. For more information, visit the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Washington, D.C.
 The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is a means-tested voucher program that provides private school vouchers to assist low-income children in Washington, D.C. In the 2013-2014 school year, 1,638 students scholarships were award and 52 schools participated in the program. Just under $13.8 in scholarship funds were distributed. In April 2011, the program was expanded and reauthorized for five years at $20 million annually. To apply, contact the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation.

Douglas County, Colorado 
The Choice Scholarship Program was created by the Douglas County Board of Education to provide school vouchers for students living in Douglas County. Students would receive 75 percent of Douglas County’s per-pupil revenue, or about $4,575. A Colorado district court issued an injunction barring the program from going forward, but the Colorado Court of Appeals has overturned the lower court ruling. The Colorado Supreme Court has announced that it will review decision of the Court of Appeals. For more information, visit the Douglas County Board of Education.

There are 14 scholarship tax credit programs in fourteen states. During the 2013-2014 school year, approximately 190,000 students participated in scholarship tax credit programs. Corporations and individuals donated $550.9 million for scholarships in the same period.

Alabama The Tax Credits for Contributing to Scholarship Granting Organizations program, enacted in 2013, provides scholarships for students who live in districts with failing schools and whose family income cannot exceed 150 percent of the median household income in Alabama. Individuals or corporations that donate will receive a tax credit value of 100 percent of donations. Scholarship funds will begin to be distributed during the 2014-2015 school year.

The Parent Refundable Tax Credits program, enacted in 2013, will provide scholarships to students who live in areas with failing schools. Donors will receive a tax credit value of (whichever is less) either 80 percent of average state per-pupil funding or tuition and fees. Scholarship funds will begin to be distributed during the 2014-2015 school year.

Arizona
 Lexie’s Law provides scholarships for foster children and children with special needs to attend private schools. Corporations that donate to School Tuition Organizations receive a tax credit value of 100 percent of donations. The program has a statewide cap of $5 million. In the 2013-2014 school year, 218 students participated in the program. For information on applying, visit the Arizona School Choice website.

The Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit provides scholarships for children to attend private schools. Individuals that donate to School Tuition Organizations receive a tax credit value of 100 percent of donations. Donor caps are limited to $1,034 for individuals and $2,062 for married couples. In the 2013-2014 school year, 30,388 students participated in the program. For information on applying, visit the Arizona School Choice website.

The Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit provides scholarships for low and lower-middle-income children to attend private schools. Corporations that donate to School Tuition Organizations receive a tax credit value of 100 percent of donations. Donor caps were limited to $35.83 million in fiscal year 2014 with a slated 20 percent annual increase each year. In the 2013-2014school year, 11,653 students participated in the program. For information on applying, visit the Arizona School Choice website.

Florida
 The Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program provides scholarships for low-income children to attend private schools. Corporations can redirect 100 percent of their tax liabilities to eligible Student Funding Organizations. Insurance companies can contribute up to 100 percent of their insurance premium liability. In the 2013-2014 school year,59,674 students participated. For information on applying, visit the Florida Department of Education.

Georgia
 The Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program provides scholarships for children to attend private schools. Tax credits are provided to individual and corporate donors. The program has a statewide cap of $58 million. Individual donors can donate $1,000, married couples can donate $2,500, and corporations can donate 75 percent of the corporation’s state income tax liability. The program served 13,285 students in the 2012-2013 school year. For information on applying, visit the Georgia Department of Education.

Indiana
 The Corporate and Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Program provides scholarships for low and lower-middle income children to attend private schools. Tax credits are provided to individual and corporate donors, who receive a 50 percent credit on donations with a statewide cap of $7.5 million in credits. In the 2012-2013 school year, 4,638 students participated in the program. For information on applying, visit School Choice Indiana.

Iowa
 The Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit provides scholarships for low and lower-middle income children to attend private schools. Tax credits are given to individual and corporate donors who receive a tax credit value of 65 percent of donations. The program has a statewide cap of $8.75 million where corporations are limited to 25 percent of the statewide cap. In the 2013-2014 school year, 10,475 students participated in the program. For more information on applying, contact the Iowa Advocates for Choice in Education.

Kansas The newly formed tax credit-funded scholarship program provides scholarships to children who qualify for reduced price lunch and attend a failing school. Corporate donors will receive a tax credit valued at 70 percent of the total donation. Data on scholarship funds is not yet available at this time.

Louisiana The Tuition Donation Debate Program, enacted in 2012, provides scholarship credits for students of families earning up to 250 percent of the federal poverty guideline. Donors receive a tax rebate valued at 95 percent of the donation. During the 2013-2014 school year, 16 students participated in the program.

New Hampshire The Education Tax Credit Program, enacted in 2012, provides scholarships to children whose household income does not exceed 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline. Corporate donors receive a tax credit value of 85 percent of the donation.

Oklahoma
 The Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships program, which was enacted in 2011, provides scholarships for children in families with incomes up to 300 percent of free and reduced price lunch. Scholarships are $5,000 or 80 percent of the average in-district per-pupil expenditure (whichever is greater). Scholarships for children with special needs may not exceed $25,000. Scholarship Granting Organizations must spend a portion of their expenditures for low-income students in an amount equal to or greater than the percentage of low-income students in the state. In the 2013-2014 school year, 467 students participated in the program.

Pennsylvania
 The Educational Improvement Tax Credit provides scholarships for low and lower-middle-income children to attend private schools. Corporate donors receive a 75 percent tax credit value on one-year donations and a 90 percent tax credit value on two-year donations. The program has a statewide cap of $60 million. In the 2012-2013 school year, 59,301 students participated in the program. For information on applying, visit the REACH Foundation.

The Educational Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit was enacted in 2012. In the 2012-2013 school year, 1,318 students participated in the program. To learn more, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Rhode Island
 The Rhode Island Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit provides scholarships for low and lower-middle income children to attend private schools. Corporate donors receive a 75 percent tax credit value on one-year donations and a 90 percent tax credit value on two-year donations. The program has a donor cap of $100,000 and a statewide cap of $1 million. In the 2013-2014 school year, 408 students participated in the program.

South Carolina Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children program, enacted in 2013, provides scholarships to students with special needs. Donors receive a tax credit value of 100 percent of the donation. Scholarship funds will begin to be distributed during the 2014-2015 school year.

Virginia The Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credits program, enacted in 2012, provides scholarships to children in families that do not earn more than 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline. Donors receive a tax credit value of 65 percent of the donation. In the 2013-2014 school year, 275 scholarships were awarded, amounting to $1,232,701 in donations.

Additional School Choice Opportunities

Arizona
 The Education Savings Act, signed into law in April 2011, created the nation’s first education savings account program. Students who are identified as having a disability are eligible to receive 90 percent of the per-pupil expenditure to spend on a variety of educational tools, including tuition and fees, textbooks, educational therapies, and tutoring. For more information on Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, visit the Arizona School Choice website.

North Carolina The Individual Income Tax Credits for Children with Disabilities program allows parents of special needs children to claim a nonrefundable tax credit of up to $6,000 a year for education expenses, including tuition, therapy, and tutoring. This program is an important first step toward empowering parents and students with enhanced educational options in North Carolina.

Courtesy: The American Federation for Children

*Note: Voucher program expenditures were derived by multiplying the number of students served according to

We appreciate the hard work of everyone at the Alliance for School Choice for compiling data and publishing it in their “School Choice Yearbook 2013-14,” which provided much of the information about the specific programs listed. For further reading please visit: The Alliance for School Choice’s website.