Indiana Teachers Union Files Lawsuit Against School Voucher Bill

By Ryan Elijah
By Scott Sarvay

July 1, 2011 Updated Jul 1, 2011 at 5:56 PM EDT

INDIANA (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The Indiana State Teachers Association filed a lawsuit in Marion County Superior Court this morning requesting a preliminary injunction against the implementation of Indiana’s recently enacted school voucher law.

The law was signed into law by Governor Mitch Daniels on May 5th with a goal of giving parents more choices for their education.

Under the plan, families that qualify for the program would have the option of using some of their state tax dollars to use for private school tuition. The program has been called one of the most extensive voucher programs in the country. The Department of Education is putting the final touches on the program which is scheduled to begin this fall.

The I.S.T.A sent out this statement in a release this morning:

The voucher law violates provisions of the Indiana Constitution that safeguard Indiana taxpayers by ensuring that they are not compelled, through the taxes they pay, to support religious institutions, ministries and places of worship.

“There is no question that this law violates the provisions of the Indiana Constitution that protect taxpayer dollars from being funneled to private, religious and for-profit organizations,” said Teresa Meredith, a teacher in the Shelbyville Central Schools and one of the plaintiffs in the case. “The CSP also violates laws that seek to safeguard Hoosier students. This voucher program will provide public funds to private schools that can give individual preference to students based on test scores, disabilities, wealth and personal faith. Such preferences should not be publicly funded.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett released the following statement in reaction to legal action taken by the Indiana State Teachers Association against House Enrolled Act 1003:

“We fully expected litigation related to House Enrolled Act 1003. During the lengthy public debate in the 2011 legislative session, the opponents made it clear they would challenge the new law. We are confident the courts will agree that this new law is both constitutional and in the best interests of Hoosier children.”

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