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.
After reviewing each state’s constitutional provisions for passages most relevant to school choice legislation, as well as any case law or legal opinions involving those provisions, IJ found that in nearly every state in the union, a well-designed school choice program is viable.
Indiana's Choice Scholarship Program Extends Long History of Choice-Based Aid
Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program empowers thousands of families to choose the best K-12 schools for their children—public, private or religious—just like state-funded college scholarship programs have done for decades.
One of the oldest and more popular forms of school choice in the United States is educational tax credit. Like many other types of school choice, educational tax credits enable parents to send their children to the K-12 school of their choice, public or private, religious or non-religious. One type of educational tax credit, tax-credit…