July 1, 2011

Catholic schools gearing up for voucher program

Cardinal Ritter High School student Jamieson Rhodes holds up his hand to ask a question in a chemistry class taught by Zach Dennis during the 2010-11 school year. In the background are Evan Vinci, left, and Sam Bruns. Cardinal Ritter High School in Indianapolis is among the 62 Catholic schools in the archdiocese that have already committed to the Indiana school voucher program, which starts on July 1. (File photo by Mary Ann Wyand)

Cardinal Ritter High School student Jamieson Rhodes holds up his hand to ask a question in a chemistry class taught by Zach Dennis during the 2010-11 school year. In the background are Evan Vinci, left, and Sam Bruns. Cardinal Ritter High School in Indianapolis is among the 62 Catholic schools in the archdiocese that have already committed to the Indiana school voucher program, which starts on July 1. (File photo by Mary Ann Wyand)

Criterion staff report

Most of the Catholic schools in the archdiocese plan to participate in the Indiana school voucher program that will start on July 1.

According to archdiocesan officials, 62 of the 68 Catholic schools have already committed to the program.

The voucher program, passed by the 2011 Indiana legislature, is targeted toward students who will be coming from a public school or who received a tax credit scholarship during the 2010-11 school year.

To be eligible for the voucher program, families have to meet certain requirements concerning family income. For a family of four with a total income below $41,348, the total annual voucher could be up to $4,500 for students in first grade through eighth grade, and more than $7,000 for students in high school.

For a family of four with a total income between $62,022 and $41,348, the voucher would be for 50 percent of the school tuition amount.

The voucher amount is for each eligible student in the family, and the voucher would be received for each year through a student’s senior year in high school.

During an eligible student’s 12 years in Catholic schools, a family could receive more than $60,000 in voucher assistance from the state of Indiana to help pay for tuition, according to archdiocesan officials.

“Vouchers will not change the mission or purpose of our Catholic schools,” said Ron Costello, the archdiocese’s superintendent of Catholics schools. “Parents who enroll students in our schools need to understand that we are Catholic first and schools second.”

For parents interested in the voucher program, Costello recommends that they follow three guidelines.

First, check to see that the Catholic school you are considering intends to accept vouchers. Second, enroll your child in the school. Third, place your name on a list so you can be contacted by the Indiana Department of Education when more information about vouchers becomes available. Enter your e-mail address at www.surveymonkey.com/s/R6Y2777.

For additional information, contact Costello at rcostello@archindy.org or 317-236-1430 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1430.

Here is the list of archdiocesan schools and private Catholic schools in the archdiocese that have committed to the state voucher program as of June 27. Schools from outside of Indianapolis are listed with the names of their community.

Archdiocesan schools that have committed to the state voucher program include:

  • Bishop Chatard High School
  • Cardinal Ritter High School
  • Central Catholic School
  • Christ the King School
  • Father Thomas Scecina Memorial High School
  • Father Michael Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School, Madison
  • Holy Angels Catholic School
  • Holy Cross Central School
  • Holy Family School, New Albany
  • Holy Name School, Beech Grove
  • Holy Spirit School
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary School
  • Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ School
  • Our Lady of the Greenwood School, Greenwood
  • Our Lady of Lourdes School
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, New Albany
  • Our Lady of Providence Jr./Sr. High School, Clarksville
  • Pope John XXIII School, Madison
  • Roncalli High School
  • SS. Francis and Clare of Assisi School, Greenwood
  • Sacred Heart School, Jeffersonville
  • St. Ambrose School, Seymour
  • St. Anthony School, Clarksville
  • St. Barnabas School
  • St. Bartholomew School, Columbus
  • St. Charles Borromeo School, Bloomington
  • St. Christopher School
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, Richmond
  • St. Gabriel School, Connersville
  • St. Joan of Arc School
  • St. Joseph School, Shelbyville
  • St. Jude School
  • St. Lawrence School
  • St. Louis School, Batesville
  • St. Malachy School, Brownsburg
  • St. Mark School
  • St. Mary-of-the-Knobs School, Floyds Knobs
  • St. Mary School, Rushville
  • St. Mary School, North Vernon
  • St. Mary School, Greensburg
  • St. Mary School, Aurora
  • St. Mary School, New Albany
  • St. Matthew School
  • St. Michael the Archangel School
  • St. Michael School, Greenfield
  • St. Michael School, Brookville
  • St. Monica School
  • St. Patrick School, Terre Haute
  • St. Paul School, Sellersburg
  • St. Philip Neri School
  • St. Pius X School
  • St. Roch School
  • St. Rosa of Lima School, Franklin
  • St. Simon the Apostle School
  • St. Susanna School, Plainfield
  • St. Therese of the Infant Jesus (Little Flower) School
  • St. Thomas Aquinas School
  • St. Vincent de Paul School, Bedford
  • Seton Catholic High School, Richmond

Three private Catholic schools in the archdiocese have committed to the state voucher program. All these schools are located in Indianapolis:

  • Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School
  • Cathedral High School
  • Providence Cristo Rey High School

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