Supreme Court Opinion Upholds School Vouchers

In a unanimous opinion issued March 26, 2013, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s statutory school voucher program which enables eligible parents to send their children to private schools. The 22-page opinion can be read at
http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/03261301bd.pdf.

In summary, the Supreme Court rejected claims that the Choice Scholarship Programs violated provisions of the Indiana Constitution regarding education and religion. The Court emphasized that Indiana’s Constitution does not intend to prohibit religious institutions from receiving indirect government services, “such as fire and police protection, municipal water and sewage service, sidewalks and streets,” but only prohibits expenditures directly benefiting such institutions.

The Court reasoned that the direct beneficiaries of the voucher program are not the schools but those eligible families who are free to select which schools to attend.

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