Court Rules School Vouchers Legal In Indiana
Unanimous Indiana Supreme Court upholds largest school voucher program in U.S.
School vouchers are legal in Indiana.
The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the voucher program in which taxpayer dollars can be used for private school tuition does not violate the state constitution. Teacher unions and others supporters of public schools had challenged the legality of the largest school voucher program in the US, saying it violated the first amendment clause that prohibits the establishment of religion by government.
The ruling upholds one of the signature achievements of former governor Mitch Daniels and then-state school superintendent Tony Bennett, who had advocated giving parents as much choice as possible when it comes to their child's education. Indiana's voucher program, unlike other states, does not limit the program to students in public schools that perform poorly. It is open to anyone who meets income requirements, and parents can use the voucher to pay tuition at a list of schools approved by the Department of Education.
Teresa Meredith, a teacher and vice president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, was the primary plaintiff, though the current state school superintendent, Glenda Ritz, was also part of the lawsuit prior to her election last November. While Ritz opposes vouchers, she has said she will administer the program as required under the law.