A new report has found Indiana’s school voucher program ran up a $53.2 million deficit, but backers of the program say it actually represents a net savings to taxpayers.
The program’s deficit grew from about $40 million from one year earlier, according to the report issued last month by the Indiana education department. The program grew 12 percent during the school year to 32,686 students.
School choice advocates say the program saves taxpayers money because vouchers provide at most 90 percent of the funding a traditional public school would receive per student. The education department bases its calculation on the assumption that any voucher student who never attended public school would have otherwise paid to attend private school, therefore creating no cost to taxpayers. The voucher program technically came in under budget.
A version of this article appeared in the August 03, 2016 edition of Education Week as Voucher-Program Costs Disputed in Indiana