Strong Demand for Educational Choice across the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 15, 2013) – The number of applications for educational choice programs in Ohio, Wisconsin and Louisiana demonstrates a growing number of families are taking advantage of educational choice options available to them starting this school year.

“Parental choice is on the rise, and parents across the country are hungry for more and better educational options for their children and that’s evident by the number of parents applying for these programs,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the American Federation for Children. “The growing demand for educational choice in these states, including the record number of applications we saw this spring in Louisiana, exemplify why high-quality educational options are necessary for all families.”

Wisconsin – Nearly five times the applications than seats
According to numbers released by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, more than 2,400 applications have been received for only 500 seats available through the state’s new statewide voucher program.

Ohio – Nearly 1,700 applications for new program in one month
Nearly 1,700 applications have been received by the Ohio Department of Education for an expanded educational choice program designed to help low-income students attend the private school of their parents’ choice. While there are 2,000 seats available in the program, the number of applicants is significant as the application window was just one month.

Louisiana – 12,000 applications for the statewide program
In May, the Louisiana Federation for Children reported that nearly 12,000 students applied for scholarships through the Louisiana Scholarship Program. Nearly 8,000 students were offered scholarships through the program to attend 128 participating schools across 32 parishes. This was an increase of nearly 3,000 students from the previous school year.

There are currently 39 publicly funded private school choice programs in 18 states and Washington, D.C. Last year, 250,000 children participated in publicly private school choice programs, a number that is expected to rise significantly in 2013-14.

The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.