Indiana Supreme Courtroom
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday over the state’s private school voucher program.
The Indiana Department of Education says more than 9,300 students across the state are now receiving state-funded vouchers to attend nearly 300 private schools through the Choice Scholarship Program. That’s more than double from the 3,900 students who participated in the program’s first year.
This year, $38 million in state funding is being sent to private schools instead of the public institutions it used to support.
A group of 12 educators backed by the Indiana State Teachers Association is suing to stop the program, alleging it violates Indiana’s constitution. The lawsuit which named Governor Mitch Daniels and Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett as defendants was filed shortly after state lawmakers passed a law establishing the voucher program in 2011.
In earlier court hearings, the plaintiffs have argued that the vast majority of the participating schools are religious schools, violating separation of church and state. In January, Marion Superior Court Judge Michael D. Keele denied the plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction to put the law on hold.
The state Supreme Court will likely take Thursday’s arguments under advisement before ruling at a later date. The arguments begin at 9:00 a.m.