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Indiana Judge Denies Injunction Against School Vouchers

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by Publius
Posted August 16, 2011, 8:53 AM

The Indianapolis Star reports that a state court judge in Indiana has rejected a request for a temporary injunction against a school voucher program in that state because the lawsuit, filed by teachers and parents opposed to the program, was unlikely to succeed.

Click here for the judge's order denying the injunction.

The parents and teachers had sued Governor Mitch Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett over the voucher program, asserting that it was unconstitutional because it would involve giving money primarily to religious schools outside the public school system. Out of 240 schools participating, all but six are religious institutions, said the attorney for the plaintiffs, and this transfer of funds would thus constitute an establishment of religion in violation of the First Amendment.

Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher, on the other hand, argued that the money was not intended to establish religion but merely to educate children, and that parents had the option to send children to nonreligious schools outside their district.

Judge Michael Keele apparently agreed with Fisher's analysis, ruling that the plaintiffs had "failed to demonstrate any likelihood of success on the merits" in the case and therefore that they had failed to meet the standard for the preliminary injunction they had requested.

It is unclear whether the plaintiffs, including representatives from the Indiana State Teachers Association, will move forward with the case.

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