At the end of every school day elementary students at The Academy of Classical Christian Studies gather for worship in the chapel. A student looks at her folder near the end of the school day on May 9, 2018.

This summer, Epic Text Books reported how the state had spent $31 million on private school vouchers through the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program, yet had collected almost no data on the students receiving those vouchers. Data for the 2020-21 school year is now public.

The data, which is required under a state law passed in 2019, is meant to give the public a way to check for disparities among students receiving the vouchers and provide accountability for the state funds.

The program was established by the Legislature in 2010 to subsidize private school tuition for students with disabilities. Eligibility was expanded to children in foster care and children adopted out of state custody beginning in 2017-18.

The program cost $7.3 million last year, a slight increase over 2019-20, bringing the total since inception to about $38 million.

A few highlights from the data, which can be found on the state Education Department's website:

• 1,135 students applied for a voucher in 2020-21 and 1,070 received funds. For 336 students, it was their first year in the program. Ninety-six students withdrew from the program or declined their funds.

• Just 16 students were denied access to the program in 2020-21. No school denied more than three applications, and most accepted all applicants.

• Not all students reported their race or ethnicity. Of those who did, about 50% are white, 16% are two or more races, 13% are Hispanic, 10.5% are Native American, 8.6% are black, and the rest fell into other categories.

• Low-income status was only available for 131 applicants; of those, 36 students were considered low-income.

Have any questions, comments or story ideas about the voucher program? Please reach out via email or DM me on Twitter. Have a great week.

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