(Information for this story came from the Associated Press)

Indiana's school voucher program has finished its first year with enrollment on the rise and supporters trumpeting the program's successes.   

Some 4,800 Indiana students have signed up for vouchers to attend private schools this fall. That's up about 800 students from the program’s first year, and the voucher deadline is still months away.

Indiana's voucher program is considered the most expansive in the country because its income guidelines are wide and students from all schools are eligible. The state's average voucher was worth over $4,100 this year

The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reports that more than $15 million in taxpayer dollars were sent to largely religious-affiliated private schools under the program. 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett calls it “a true success story.'' 

But critics say the program siphons money away from public schools and violates the constitutional separation of church and state.     A legal challenge to school vouchers will be heard by the Indiana Supreme Court.  

(Photo courtesy of Indiana Department of Education)


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