School Vouchers In Demand As Lawsuit Looms

7,500 Eligible For Vouchers This Year

While 243 private schools have been approved to receive vouchers as part of an Indiana program that is the most expansive in the country, a court hearing set for Thursday could put the brakes on the program.

About 2,230 students have been approved to receive vouchers, and the future of their education hangs in the balance, 6News' Derrik Thomas reported.

The Indiana State Teachers Association has vociferously battled the legislation all along the way.

"The current voucher legislation violates the state constitution," said Brenda Pike, executive director of ISTA. "It clearly states in the constitution that all monies gathered in public taxes will go to public schools, not to private schools."

Kingsway Christian School in Avon is one of the schools approved for vouchers. It held a seminar Tuesday to educate parents on the voucher application process. Eight students have already been approved at that school.

Miguel Silva said he is not dissatisfied with the current public school his daughter, Hanna, is attending, but he wants more.

"I just want the Christian principles instilled in her," said Silva.

Under the current plan, 7,500 vouchers are available this school year, with 15,000 available next year.

Fourteen plaintiffs are involved in the lawsuit that names Gov. Mitch Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett as defendants.

"We are confident that this program is in the best interest of Hoosier children," said Alex Damron, spokesman of the Department of Education. "We are confident the court system will agree as well."