Law & Courts News in Brief

Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Voucher Law

By Alyssa Morones — April 03, 2013 1 min read

The Indiana Supreme Court last week unanimously upheld the state law that created Indiana’s school voucher program, the Associated Press reported.

The Indiana state government enacted its Choice Scholarship program during the 2011 legislative session. It is the only voucher program in the country that is not limited to low-income students or students who attend low-performing schools. It also has no enrollment cap. More than 9,000 students participated in the program this year.

Indiana students are eligible for vouchers that cover either 90 percent or 50 percent of private school tuition costs—depending on income and the number of household members—with the cap at $4,500 annually.

The legal battle began soon after the program’s enactment. In its suit in the Marion Superior Court, the Indiana State Teachers Association said that the program drained money from public schools and argued that vouchers redirect those funds to schools whose primary purpose is to promote religious teachings. Marion Superior Court Judge Michael Keele upheld the legislation in 2011 and rejected claims of constitutional violation.

In its 5-0 opinion, the state supreme court affirmed that ruling. It said that the law does not violate the Indiana Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom, nor does it violate a ban on using state funds for religious institutions. Rather, the primary benefits of the program went to parents by giving them a choice in their children’s education, the court said. While the state is not permitted to directly spend money on religious institutions, those institutions are not prohibited from receiving indirect government services, according to the court.

The ruling also clears the way for expanding the voucher program. Earlier this year, Indiana lawmakers introduced a bill that would waive the requirement that all students attend at least one year of public school before they are eligible for vouchers. Kindergartners and voucher students’ siblings would also be immediately eligible.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 03, 2013 edition of Education Week as Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Voucher Law

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Strategies & Tips for Complex Decision-Making
Schools are working through the most disruptive period in the history of modern education, facing a pandemic, economic problems, social justice issues, and rapid technological change all at once. But even after the pandemic ends,

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Appeals Court Weighs Idaho Law Barring Transgender Female Students From Girls' Sports
The three-judge federal court panel reviews a lower-court ruling that blocked the controversial statute and said it was likely unconstitutional.
4 min read
Image of a gavel.
Marilyn Nieves/E+
Law & Courts Federal Appeals Court Backs Socioeconomic-Based Admissions Plan for Boston 'Exam Schools'
The court denies an injunction to block the plan for next year and says considering family income in admissions is likely constitutional.
3 min read
Image shows lady justice standing before an open law book and gavel.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court Wary About Extending School Authority Over Student Internet Speech
In arguments, the justices looked for a narrow way to decide a case about the discipline of a cheerleader over a profane Snapchat message.
7 min read
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021.
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the court on April 23. The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a major case on student speech.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
Law & Courts Supreme Court to Weigh When School Board Censure of a Member Violates the First Amendment
The justices will decide an issue that has become more salient as a few board members rant inappropriately on social media.
5 min read
Image of the Supreme Court.
iStock/Getty