Orientation and Training (January 2013)

Indiana Non-Public
Legislative Liaisons
Orientation & Training
January 8 & 9 2013
• Who we are
• Who we serve
• Our focus
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
• Supporting legislation that benefits private school
• 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
• 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 &
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
Legislative Liaisons
School Head
Legislative Victories
• Choice Scholarship Program
• Voucher Program:
• 2011-2012: 3919 students & 16 million dollars
• 2012-2013: 9300 students & 38 million dollars
• 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
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
“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
• 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
• 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
• 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
 School Choice is not about private schools; it’s about
families and children and giving them opportunities to be
 School Choice will not destroy public schools. In states
with active school choice programs, public schools have
 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
• 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 11th 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
• 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
[email protected]
Kent Martin
Central Indiana
[email protected]
Sarah Milligan
Southern Indiana
[email protected]
Web sites
• School Choice Indiana
• Friedman Foundation
• School Voucher Information
• Indiana General Assembly
• http://www.in.gov/legislative/index.html
Indiana Non-Public Education
John Elcesser
Executive Director
1400 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
[email protected]

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