Even though Indiana's voucher program was launched in the midst
of a lawsuit trying to block it, the number of participants has
more than doubled to 9,000 for the 2012-13 school year.
only in its second year, is the fourth largest in the
country. Jeff Reed of the Indiana-based Friedman Foundation
for Educational Choice says the program's doubled growth in
just one year is evidence of a real need.
"Their parents took the time to see what was available, and they
found that their public schools weren't working for them … so they
opted to receive scholarships," Reed explains. "And now they're in
private schools that are better fit -- and frankly, that's the way
it should work. It should work that way for every family."
While the lawsuit is still pending, he advises opponents to be
careful about what they wish for.
"If suddenly those opportunities were taken away, I think the
last thing that opponents of school choice would want to see is
9,000 families across all demographics -- white, black, Hispanic --
marching in the streets of Indiana saying Why did you take
away my kid's schooling opportunity?" the Foundation spokesman
Thirty-two publicly funded private school-choice programs are
now available in 16 states and Washington, DC. Last year, more than
210,000 children participated nationwide.