Why Legislative Liaisons? Building an grassroots infrastructure Raising our collective voice Engaging and mobilizing private school communities for private school issues Supporting new legislative initiatives and protecting past successes
Engaging in Public Policy Advancing our Mission Protecting our Independence Advocating for School Choice Engaging in State Legislation and Regulation Process Supporting legislation that benefits private school students Opposing legislation/regulation that could be harmful to our schools and students Providing a face and voice for Non-public schools and issues in Indiana
LL: Roles and Responsibilities Work with School Administration on Public Policy Issues Educate & Engage your local school community in public policy issues affecting private schools Communicate INPEA public policy issues/alerts to your school community (parents & faculty & staff)
LL: Roles and Responsibilities Help educate your parent community about particular public policy issues(e.g. parent meetings, school newsletters) When necessary and possible encourage involvement in statehouse rallies or legislative committee hearings Share the private school perspective on issues with your elected representatives or public school representatives (write/call/attend hearings) and encourage others to do the same. Set school goals for public policy engagement Develop a communication plan for public policy issues
Legislative Victories Choice Scholarship Program Voucher Program: 2011-2012: 3919 students & 16 million dollars 2012-2013: 9300 students & 38 million dollars (est) Scholarship Tax Credit Improvements Cap increase: from 2.5 million to 5 million Designated Funds (SGO: 2 or more schools) Individual Tax Deduction $1000 deduction for educational expenses State special education spending accountability
Choice Scholarship Program (Voucher) A percentage of the state tax dollars allocated for a student to attend a public school follows the child to the private school of their choice.
Scholarship Tax Credit Program “Public incentive for private giving” Individuals and corporations receive a state tax credit when making donations to an approved Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO)
Individual Tax Deduction $1000 Tax Deduction for education expenses in private schools (tuition, fees, uniforms, etc.) and home schools
Scholarship Tax Credit Program Passed 2009 50% State Tax Credit for donations to an approved Scholarship Granting Organization 5 Million Statewide Cap 4 approved SGOs Eligible students: entering Kindergarten or transferring from public schools 1-12 (and meet financial eligibility) Eligible schools: accredited and give an approved standardized test Eligible taxes: personal and corporate income taxes, insurance premium tax and financial institution tax.
Program Summaries Voucher Program Eligibility and Amounts IN Students coming from public school the 2 semesters preceding in grades 2-12 OR in grades 1-12 who received a tax credit scholarship or voucher the year prior who meet income requirements Students/families whose income is at the FR lunch level are eligible for 90% of state tuition support of the students’ school corporation of residence, capped at $4,500 for grades 1 to 8 or tuition and fees whichever is less. High School cap is the school’s tuition and fees. Students/families who are at 150% of the FR lunch level are eligible for 50% of state tuition support for the students’ school corporation, capped at $4,500 for grades 1 to 8 or tuition and fees whichever is less. High School cap is the school’s tuition and fees. Cap is 7,500 students in year 1, 15,000 in year 2 (current yr.), and no cap starting in year 3
School Choice Messaging Pointers School Choice is not about private schools; it’s about families and children and giving them opportunities to be successful. School Choice will not destroy public schools. In states with active school choice programs, public schools have improved. Private Schools that participate in school choice programs will not lose their autonomy. School Choice Programs can save the State money. INPEA & School Choice Indiana can be of assistance when dealing with media.
2013 Legislative Priorities Protect against increasing regulation! Protect and Expand the Voucher & Scholarship Tax Credit Legislation Add a Kindergarten entry point in the voucher program Remove or increase the artificial $4500 elementary cap Add a second entry point (HS) in the scholarship tax credit program Explore a special education voucher Increase access for special groups (foster children, active military, siblings) Increase State Tax Deduction Remove prior year public requirement
2012 – 2013 Initiatives State Supreme Court Ruling New State Superintendent & IDOE staff changes National School Choice Week (Jan.27-Feb.2) Whistle Stop Train Tour (South Bend – Jan. 30) School Choice Rally: March 11 th Statehouse Improve Non-Public School Grassroots Efforts Improve Legislative Liaison Program Be prepared to protect and engage! Engage Voucher& STC recipients in grassroots, media, and statehouse efforts
Important clarifications Legislation vs. Regulation/Rule vs. Administration Legislation occurs in the General Assembly Rule for education law is developed by either the State Board of Education or Department of Education Administration is the responsibility of the designated state agency (in many cases IDOE for education issues but not always) (Important as it relates to the transition of the State Superintendent)
Immediate Homework Develop (if needed) a legislative communication plan with your school head for the 2013 General Assembly Session. How to get alerts to the school community Plan ways to educate parents about the importance of engaging in public policy as well as about specific issues Assessing level of parent engagement Make plans to bring a group to the School Choice Rally in March (contact your SCI field rep. Re: details)
Partner Organizations School Choice Indiana (HEGN) Indiana Catholic Conference Friedman Foundation Great Schools And others
2013 HEGN Field Managers Regions and Contact Info Elise Correa Northern Indiana 219-671-2399 Elise@SchoolChoiceIndiana.org Kent Martin Central Indiana 317-498-1469 Kent@SchoolChoiceIndiana.org Sarah Milligan Southern Indiana 812-272-7216 Sarah@SchoolChoiceIndiana.org
Web sites INPEA www.inpea.org School Choice Indiana www.schoolchoiceindiana.org Friedman Foundation www.edchoice.org School Voucher Information www.myschoolvoucher.com www.doe.in.gov/schoolchoice Indiana General Assembly http://www.in.gov/legislative/index.html
INPEA Indiana Non-Public Education Association John Elcesser Executive Director 1400 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46202 317-236-7329 firstname.lastname@example.org