Statement issued Tuesday:
INDIANAPOLIS –Marion County Judge Michael Keele’s ruling late yesterday denying a temporary injunction against the state’s new school voucher program comes as a disappointment. ISTA and its thousands of members across the state continue to believe in the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims in this important case.
Once fully implemented, the state’s new school voucher program will allow up to 60 percent of Indiana’s public school students to obtain vouchers to attend private or religious schools, draining millions of dollars from traditional public schools and their programs.
ISTA believes that the court’s ruling is fairly cursory and disregards certain key facts regarding the operation of the voucher program. In particular, the ruling does not even address the fact that 97 percent of the schools participating in the program are religious schools. As a consequence, for all but a handful of parents, the only real option under this voucher program is the option of using a voucher to attend a religious school.
“Of course, we’re disappointed in Judge Keele’s ruling,” said Dr. Brenda Pike, ISTA Executive Director. “We will take a little time to discuss the next steps we will take in this process. It’s clear, despite this single ruling, that this voucher program clearly violates provisions of the Indiana Constitution.”