Choice Scholarship Rules Hearing Clarification
This week INPEA published our September Update. In this edition we provided information about the proposed new voucher rules that will be open to public comment in late October and early November. As we reviewed the rules, we noticed a section that was particularly problematic. It was in section
512 IAC 4-1-3.2 Eligible school tuition and fees (see below).
(e) Eligible schools must first apply all tuition and fee discounts and the eligible school's financial aid, including any need-based financial aid, that the eligible choice scholarship student, or a similarly situated noneligible choice scholarship student, would have otherwise received absent a choice scholarship before determining the amount of tuition for purposes of the choice application.
This rule contradicts the prior interpretation of IDOE and INPEA. I immediately contacted our IDOE attorney for the Choice Program, and after reviewing it he acknowledged it was an error. With the State rules process, it cannot be changed until after the public comment period. We will be addressing it during the public comment period; others can as well. We do not anticipate a problem with
it being changed.
The public comment period hearing are:
October 30th from 10:00 am-12:00 pm ET at the Indiana Department of Education Offices (Riley Conference Room). 115 W Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.
November 2nd from 3:00 pm-5:00 pm CT at the Diocese of Evansville Catholic Center, 4200 N Kentucky Ave., Evansville, IN 47711.
November 3rd from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm ET St. Joseph High School, 453 N Notre Dame Ave., South Bend, IN 46617 (Door A).
We have received a number of emails from member schools and thought we should update you in an attempt to reduce any potential heartburn. The interpretation is still correct that discounts off the top and needs based assistance off the bottom. Feel free to call with questions at (317) 236-7329.