Participation in Indiana’s Ed Scholarship Accounts Surges for 2024-25 Term

The Indiana Treasurer of State announced on Monday that the number of Hoosier families utilizing an Indiana Education Scholarship Account (ESA) for students requiring special education services has increased by 200% for the upcoming school year.

According to the agency, over 50% of the $10 million allocated for ESAs in the 2024-25 academic year has already been assigned to qualified students. The application deadline for the program is two months away on Sept. 1.

The office reported a significant surge of over 200% in the number of K-12 students with disabilities who applied for and received ESA funds between the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.

Provider participation has also seen a substantial increase of over 130% during the same period, with new providers joining weekly, as per the treasurer’s office.

Moreover, the number of nonpublic schools educating ESA students has surged by more than 350% between the 2022-23 and 2023-24 terms.

Tina Kaetzel, the executive director of the ESA program at the state treasurer’s office, emphasized the growth, stating, “These numbers demonstrate the positive impact of the program among parents and nonpublic schools, with a growing provider base statewide.”

Kaetzel highlighted the program’s expansion, noting a 20% increase in registered providers for the 2024-25 school year compared to the previous year. Additionally, the number of non-public schools involved in the program has risen by 50% from the 2023-24 academic year.

“With a rise in applications daily, parents are encouraged to apply now to increase their chances of securing funding,” Kaetzel added.

To qualify for an ESA, school-aged Hoosiers must have an active service plan, Individualized Education Plan, or Choice Special Education Plan (CSEP) and an income below 400% of the Federal Free or Reduced School Meals limit, according to the Indiana Department of Education.

The state treasurer’s office administers accounts for eligible students providing funds for private school tuition and various educational services outside their district.

The program covers additional expenses such as transportation, exams, occupational therapy, and education aids, among others, as part of customized education for special-needs children.

Established by the General Assembly in 2021, the ESA program faced opposition from public education advocates who raised concerns regarding oversight and funding redistribution from traditional public schools.

Despite a proposal to eliminate the program in favor of a new grant system during the 2024 legislative session, the measure did not progress. However, discussions indicated potential legislative developments in 2025.

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