First passed in 2011 in Indiana, the voucher system is a system that provides scholarships and payment of tuition and fees at a participating Choice School to students who need it. When the scholarship/system was first embedded in the 2011-2012 school year it was limited to 7,500 students. The next year that rate doubled to 15,000 students who were eligible. Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year the limitations on the number of students eligible for the scholarship was removed, allowing any student that met eligibility and income requirements to receive the scholarship. Not only did the program allow for any eligibly students to receive it, but it was also expanded to include the components related to special education, siblings, and to failing schools.

The main goals of the voucher program are to provide students with a certain amount of money per year to attend the schooling of their choice.

Sure the scholarship is a good thing, allowing for more students to have more opportunities, but it also creates problems among other schools, such as public schools.

The program allows students to attend schools of their choice with the scholarship money, bringing in money to the school that they attend such as a private school, but taking money away from the former school that they attended, usually a public school. On many occasions students with disciplinary or academic issues are asked to leave the private school, and often returned to public school. The problem with this situation is that the public school only receives half of the funding for that student even if they attended a private school for only a short period of time.

The voucher systems effect on Michigan City has been significant. The system has been allowing students to attend private schools, and many of the students have never even attended a public school before. Some scholars might say that they prefer to attend a private school because it lets them have more opportunities and a better education, but I disagree. I had attended private school my whole life up until my freshman year of high school, and I can say that MCHS provides students with a great education and gives students many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had in private school.

I also feel that the scholarship shouldn’t be used as a reason to lure public students to private schools for athletic reasons. Athletic opportunities should put above academics when choosing a school.

For me public school has provided tremendous opportunities to interact with so many people I would not have had the opportunity to know had I stayed in a small private school. I believe MCHS has helped prepare me for the real world and made me a more accepting and well-rounded person.

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