NEWS: Indiana Ed. Dept. Debuts School Voucher Applications

From The South Bend Tribune:

The Indiana Department of Education today debuted an online application form for private schools seeking to participate in Indiana’s new school voucher program.

See: www.doe.in.gov/schoolchoice.

At the same website, parents and guardians soon will be able to view a list of private schools that have been accepted into the program. Schools will be added to the list as they are accepted.

Parents will apply for vouchers through the private school at which they are seeking to enroll their child, according to Stephanie Sample, an IDOE spokeswoman.

With Indiana’s new school voucher program, the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend could handle 1,000 additional students in its parochial schools for the upcoming school year, said Mark Myers, superintendent of schools for the diocese.

“We could handle about 25 more students per building,” he said. There are 41 Catholic schools in the diocese.

St. John the Baptist School in South Bend today had the first student application accepted for the first voucher awarded in the state, Myers said. And Our Lady of Hungary School in South Bend filed applications for about 15 students today, he said.

Area Catholic schools have been fielding phone calls for weeks from parents seeking more information about how Indiana’s voucher system will work, and the process for using vouchers to transfer a child into a Catholic school, Myers said.

“There is a significant amount of interest among the Hispanic community in South Bend, Elkhart and Fort Wayne,” he said. The Catholic high schools have fielded the most inquiries, he said.