LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Almost 4,000 students statewide have signed up for the voucher program this year.
Among all states, it's the largest number of students to ever enroll in the first year of a voucher program. For traditional public schools, it means more than $16 million gone.
State officials said vouchers make an important alternative available to families who otherwise couldn't afford to leave a bad school.
But many area school officials aren't happy.
Lafayette School Corporation lost 28 students equating to about $150,000 of losses directly. Superintendent Ed Eiler estimates he'll lose another $100,000 indirectly.
"I believe the current voucher numbers are just the tip of the iceberg," said Eiler. "Because moving forward, I believe it's going to have a dramatic effect, especially on urban schools."
There's a cap on vouchers this year of 7,500. Next year, the cap is 15,000. Beginning in 2013, there's no cap on the number of vouchers.
Of the schools in our area, Lafayette lost the most students because of vouchers with 28 students.
That's followed closely by Tippecanoe School Corpoation with 26 students. Logansport Community School Corporation lost 7 students, Tipton Community School Corporation lost 5 students, and both Covington Community School Corporation and Rensselaer Central Schools lost 4 students each.
It's been nearly a month since a tornado damaged Southwestern Middle School and Mintonye Elementary School, giving faculty the task of helping students transition to their new surroundings.
Donations are being accepted to help around 300 seniors receive a holiday gift.
Donations are needed for Food Finders Food Bank to aim at matching a grant that would match funds up to $20,000.