Indiana Voucher Opponents Will Continue Legal Battle

by Rick Howlett on August 22, 2011

Some opponents of Indiana’s new school voucher program say they’ll press forward with their lawsuit against the state, despite being dealt a setback last week.

A Marion County judge refused to grant an injunction halting the program, which allows middle and low-income families to use tax dollars for private school tuition. The judge also said the plaintiffs had little chance of winning their overall suit.

One of the plaintiffs is Teresa Meredith, vice-president of the Indiana State Teachers Association. She says they won’t appeal the injunction ruling but plan move ahead with their case.

We believe that it definitely has merit, and our position that it violates the state Constitution —in more than one place in the Constitution. We believe we do have enough to warrant us moving ahead,” she said.

The ISTA contends the voucher program is a violation of the separation of church and state and deprives public schools of sorely needed funds.

“It would be nice to have that money that’s been set aside for the vouchers put into programs or ways of improving the schools that already exist. If there’s a problem in our public school, let’s address it. Let’s peel back the layers of the onion, find the problem, and let’s address that,” Meredith said.

Supporters say vouchers give parents more education options.

More than 3,000 have signed up for school vouchers this year. Most of the participating schools are religion-affiliated.

No hearing date has been set on the lawsuit.

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