Opening a new, voucher-funded private school in Indiana is getting a lot easier.
Under a law signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb on Friday, new private schools will be able to receive state funding for student tuition from the day they open their doors. The move eliminates a one-year waiting period for private schools to be eligible for vouchers.
Now, private schools will be able to immediately win accreditation, a mark of state approval required to receive vouchers. Because they will be able to get access to state dollars from the start, they won’t need to attract families who can pay full tuition or rely on philanthropic support to sustain them for a year without state funding.
As Chalkbeat found in a recent story, allowing voucher-funded schools to receive state funding immediately could open the state up to private schools that wish to expand from other states — like Fugee Academy, a Georgia-based private school for refugees that chose not to expand to Indianapolis because of the delay.
But the change could also make the landscape of private schools more unstable, leading to a revolving door of private schools like Milwaukee has seen in the nation’s oldest voucher program — where nearly 70 percent of private schools opened between 1991 and 2015 later closed.