Teachers Union Challenges Indiana School Voucher Law

by Rick Howlett on July 1, 2011

A lawsuit has been filed that seeks to block Indiana’s new school voucher law.

The Indiana State Teachers Association says the lawsuit was filed in Marion County on Friday, the day the new law took effect. Union spokesman Mark Shoup says the more than 10 plaintiffs include teachers, school administrators, clergy and taxpayers.

The suit argues the voucher law violates state constitutional provisions that safeguard taxpayers from supporting religious institutions, ministries and places of worship.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly this spring approved the nation’s broadest private school voucher plan. It was signed into law by GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels on May 5.

State schools superintendent Tony Bennett says the lawsuit was expected. He says he’s confident the courts will agree the law is constitutional and in the best interests of Indiana students.

Daniels issued this statement in response to the suit:

“There the union goes again, putting their financial self-interest ahead of the interests of children and Indiana’s low-income families.

The bill was drafted from its inception with the state and federal constitutional law in mind. This suit will lose as emphatically as their recent school funding suit did.”

The governor is referencing the Bonner v. Daniels case about school funding.

(Some of the information for this story came from the Associated Press)

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