A judge in Indianapolis is scheduled to hear arguments this week in a lawsuit challenging the state’s school voucher program, created this year by the General Assembly.

The program allows parents who meet income guidelines to use tax money to send their children to private schools, including those with religious affiliations.

Opponents of the program include the Indiana State Teachers Association.

Union President Nate Schnellenberger says vouchers are unconstitutional and will further weaken a public school system that’s already struggling financially.

“On top of nearly a $300 million cut that the governor made in each of the last two years to K-12 funding, we’re going to remove more funding, more already budgeted funding, and send it to private and religious schools,” he said.

Supporters of the voucher program say it gives families more education options for their tax dollars.

They also point to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2002 that says the voucher system does not violate the separation of church and state.

A hearing on the suit is scheduled for Thursday.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."