Marion Superior Court Judge Michael Keele will rule early next week in the lawsuit challenging Indiana's new voucher program.
From news reports this morning, it appears that supporters of the program are ignoring the constitutional questions raised, instead arguing that a preliminary injunction will disrupt school plans as classes begin this month.
The number of vouchers already approved has increased since the state's last report. The state's attorneys now say that 2,853 vouchers are approved. The legislation caps the program at 7,500 this year and 15,000 in 2012. The program is unlimited after that.
The voucher program helped Indiana earn the dubious distinction of Education Idol today. In a schlocky program sponsored by the pro-voucher, pro-charter Fordham Institute, Indiana beat out Illinois, Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin as the "reformiest" state. In his acceptance speech, state Superintendent Tony Bennett thanked former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for serving as a reform model.
I'm still wondering how a state that doesn't even offer full funding for full-day kindergarten could be considered an education leader under any circumstances. The package of "reforms" the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed with a Republican governor's assistance will have to overcome the built-in disadvantage of a late start in learning if they are to show any results.
But the reality is that improving Indiana schools was never the intent. Pleasing corporate and individual political supporters always has been the goal, so results no longer matter. The trick now will be to frame progress so that it looks like the changes made a difference.