INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Supreme Court will hear a direct appeal of a Marion County judge's ruling that Indiana's school voucher program is constitutional.
The state's high court announced Friday it had accepted a request by lawsuit participants to bypass the Indiana Court of Appeals and have the five-member Supreme Court consider their appeal directly.
A date for oral arguments has not been set. A decision usually follows several months after the Supreme Court hears the case.
Judge Michael Keele ruled in January the Choice Scholarship Program, which uses state tax dollars to pay tuition at private, often religious, elementary and high schools for families meeting certain income criteria, does not violate the Indiana Constitution's prohibition on state support of religious institutions.
The judge said the money paid by the state is supporting the education of its citizens and any benefits to religious institutions are "incidental."
Approximately 4,000 students statewide, including several hundred in Northwest Indiana, had their private school tuition paid for by state tax dollars this school year.