Indiana School Choice

IJ client Monica Poindexter and her child.

DC tours on segway

 IJ school choice parent Heather Coffy with her kids.

Teresa Meredith, et al. v. Mitch Daniels, et al
Institute for Justice  Defendeds Indiana's New Choice Scholarship Program

The Institute for Justice successfully defended Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program from the lawsuit filed against it by a group of taxpayers represented by the National Education Association.  In March of 2013, the Institute, along with the Indiana Solicitor General, secured a unanimous decision from the Indiana Supreme Court holding that the program does not violate the Indiana Constitution.
The Institute defended the program on behalf of Indiana families who are using scholarships provided by the program to send their children to private schools, where they are more likely to receive a quality education.  For the past twenty years, the Institute has litigated in state and federal courts across the country—including the U.S. Supreme Court—to protect school choice programs.  Significantly, the Institute also successfully defended school scholarship programs that are similar to Indiana’s in Milwaukee and Cleveland.

Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program, signed by Governor Mitch Daniels in May 2011, could grow into the nation’s largest school choice scholarship program.  The program awards low- and middle-income parents publicly funded scholarships for their children’s education that may then be used at participating private schools, including both religious and non-religious schools.  An estimated 62 percent of Indiana families will eventually be eligible to participate in the program.  If they don’t think that their children are receiving a good education in their current public school, the program will enable them to pick a private school that better suits their child’s educational needs.


Essential Background


Backgrounder: none available

Client Photo

Case launch press conference video

Latest Release: Supreme Victory for School Choice in Indiana; Indiana Supreme Court Rules That Choice Scholarship Program is Constitutional (March 26, 2013)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

Indiana Supreme Court Decision (March 26, 2013)

Summary Judgment Opinion (January 13, 2012)
Launch Release: Institute for Justice Moves to Intervene in Defense of Indiana’s New School Choice Program (July 21, 2011) Decision denying motion for preliminary injunction (August 15, 2011)

Case Timeline

School Choice Opponents Filed Lawsuit:


July 1, 2011

IJ Intervention Filed:


July 20, 2011

Court Filed:


Marion County Superior Court


Trial court upheld program- Supreme Court has affirmed



Victory: Program upheld

Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Release: School Choice Case Argued before Indiana Supreme Court; Indiana Choice Program has Potential to Become Largest in the Nation (November 19, 2012)


Release: Victory for School Choice in Indiana (January 13, 2012)


Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Video: Where does the alphabet end?; (August 23, 2010)

Release: New Indiana School Choice Study: Despite Union Lawsuit Claiming Harm to Public Schools, School Choice Already Widespread Across Indiana (November 30, 2011)

Report: Opening the Schoolhouse Doors (December 2011)

Release: Victory for School Choice in Indiana (August 15, 2011)

Article: School Choice Wins Again in Indiana Liberty & Law (February 2012) 

Release: Institute for Justice Will Defend Indiana’s New School Choice Program Against Legal Attack (July 1, 2011)

Release: Indiana’s New School Choice Program is Constitutional (May 5, 2011)

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