Local News Politics

Indiana’s state school superintendent says parents have sought nearly half of the school vouchers available for the program’s first year.

Superintendent Tony Bennett told the governor’s Education Roundtable this week that parents have applied for about 3,700 of the vouchers that use public school money to help pay for students to attend private schools.

Bennett says most of the students receiving vouchers come from households whose incomes qualify the students for free or reduced lunches and breakfasts.

He says 15-percent of the vouchers are going to students in small towns and rural areas.

When the legislature approved the voucher program, it set a cap of 7,500 students for the first year. It increases to 15,000 next year, with no limit after that.

Some educators and religious leaders are challenging the voucher program in court, but a judge has refused to halt the program while their suit is heard.

(Information for this story also came from the Associated Press, WISH-TV and WRTV-TV.

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