IPR News

State Supreme Court hears school voucher case

by StateImpact Indiana's Elle Moxley

November 21, 2012

Indiana Supreme Court justices want to know whether the state’s school voucher program primarily benefits Hoosier families or religious institutions.  The high court heard arguments this morning in a challenge to the 2011 law that allows students to attend private schools at a discounted rate using state-funded vouchers.  More than nine thousand students are participating in the program this year, mainly at religious schools.  Plaintiffs say that’s an unconstitutional use of state money.  Defendants say parents choose where to use the voucher, so it’s legal.  Mark GiaQuinta is the Board of Trustees president for Fort Wayne Community Schools.  He says fifteen hundred students have left the district for private schools in the area.

Outgoing State Superintendent Tony Bennett says the program brings school choice to any family, regardless of income.  Superintendent-elect Glenda Ritz is one of the 12 plaintiffs in the case… but says she will remove herself from that list now that the hearing is complete.