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Pro-Voucher Parents Want To Intervene In Suit

Two parents of Indianapolis school children want to voice their opposition-- in court--to a lawsuit challenging Indiana’s new school voucher program.The Indiana General Assembly approved the program, now the country’s largest, earlier this year. It allows parents who meet income guidelines to use public funds for private school tuition if they’re not satisfied with the public school system.Opponents, including the state teachers union, want a judge to declare it an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state, since many private schools have a religious affiliation. They also argue that it will siphon millions of dollars away from an already financially-strapped public school system. The two pro-voucher parents are represented by attorney Bert Gall of the Virginia-based Institute for Justice. He says the constitutional argument has no merit, as public funds are widely used for higher education at private institutions. "it is so sweeping in its scope that it would render all sorts of students assistance programs unconstitutional. For example, you couldn’t get a public scholarship to attend Notre Dame, yet there are several programs that are exactly like that," he said. Gall says his clients want to intervene in the suit in time for a hearing next month on the lawsuits’ request for an injunction.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.