School Choice Victory: Indiana Court Rejects Challenge to Scholarship Program

Uploaded by InstituteForJustice on 07.02.2012

Parent, Heather Coffee clearly remembers the moment
I was overjoyed and he was extremely happy
She had just gotten word her son would be able to attend private high school
Thanks to Indiana's new Choice Scholarship Program
It has awarded more than 2800 low and middle income students
Publicly funded scholarships that they can use to attend private schools
That may better fulfill their needs.
The Indiana Choice Scholarship Program is a groundbreaking, statewide
School choice program that is designed to help students in low and middle income families
Families like Heather Coffee's and Monica Poindexters'
Both of whom are single parents who have children who, right now
Are benefiting from the excellent educational opportunities that the program provides.
The teacher's unions are challenging this program because they don't like school choice.
They simply don't want parents to have options about where to send their children to school.
The teacher's unions want to preserve, and keep, the traditional top-down
Educational system where parents and students have to take what's given to them
The Choice Scholarship Program allows parents to choose from public schools,
From private secular schools, and private religious schools.
The teacher's unions argue that it is unconstitutional to allow parents to use public
Funds to send their children to religious schools, but that argument is bogus
Because it neglects the fact that this program is based purely on individual choice
These scholarship are aiding students, and their parents are making the choices
About where to spend the education dollars. That makes the program constitutional.
And courts across the country, including the US Supreme Court and several
State Supreme Courts have held that choice makes programs like Indiana's constitutional.
The teacher's union wants to claim that school choice has no history in Indiana
But nothing could be further from the truth. As a report that we recently released
Demonstrates, Indiana has a long and rich tradition of providing educational options
At all levels of education to Indiana parents and students.
The Choice Scholarship Program is the broadest example of that but there are examples
All around. Take, for example, the Frank O'Bannon Grant Program
Which award publicly funded scholarship that students can use to attend a variety
Of public and private throughout Indiana, and some of those colleges, in fact,
Many of those colleges are religious, like Notre Dame.
Every child deserves a quality education and every parent deserves the freedom
To pick the school that is best for their child.
Indiana's Choice Scholarship Program has the potential to become the biggest
Choice Scholarship program in the country and that's why we, and our clients:
Heather Coffee and Monica Poindexter are willing to defend this program all the way
To the Indiana Supreme Court