New tool helps parents choose the right school for kids

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 18, 2015) - A new tool launched Wednesday will help parents evaluate school options for their children. The "Opportunity Calculator" includes information on a wide range of school choices, ranging from magnet schools to virtual learning.

The online tool includes information about school accountability grades and financial aid options. The idea was developed by the Institute for Quality Education. Parents can submit basic information to determine if their family qualifies for things like school vouchers.

"School vouchers are very important," said Tosha Salyers, from the Institute for Quality Education. " It gives families who wouldn’t have a choice otherwise an option for a quality school to send their child. It opens doors of opportunities that may not have been there before."

Nearly 30,000 students participated in Indiana's school voucher program during the 2014-2015 school year. The current year participation numbers indicate a 47.1 percent increase from the previous year.

"Parents might choose a voucher because their child is being bullied or their child Is assigned to failing school," Salyers said. "These are all very good reasons that parents are looking for options."

The "Opportunity Calculator" enables parents to compare different types of schools, including public schools. You can find the calculator here: http://www.i4qed.org/your-school-options