New ruling on school voucher program gives hope to those who nee - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

New ruling on school voucher program gives hope to those who need it

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INDIANA (WFIE) -

There have been new developments affecting Indiana's School Voucher Program. 

The state supreme court ruled on Tuesday that the vouchers do not violate the state's constitution. This comes as lawmakers debate whether to expand the program to even more Hoosier families.

Tuesday's ruling means the voucher program will continue for the dozen or so students who use it to attend classes at Mater Dei and around the Tri-State.

Families across the Tri-State who depend on these vouchers are breathing a sigh of relief.

Every parent has to make the decision for their child.  

"We chose to take advantage of the opportunity of the voucher program," parent Beckee Sheffer said.

Beckee Sheffer's 10-year-old daughter, Hadley attends St. Joseph Catholic School in Princeton.

"I want to be a pharmacist when I grow up. I like science a lot. I don't really know why," Hadley said.

She is one of roughly 9,000 students who attend private schools thanks to Indiana's Voucher Program.

"It allows parents who are middle class, or below middle class economic levels, the opportunity to give their kids choices in their schooling and to really help families," Sheffer said.

The supreme court's decision allows the program to continue. With House Bill 1003, supporters want to increase the dollar amount of the voucher and make more kids eligible.

But opponents say that takes more money out of public school funds.

"I don't think there's anything negative that can be said about public schools in this area. I think the teachers do a wonderful job, but this gives parents a choice," Sheffer said.

Sheffer's two youngest daughters could soon qualify if the program expands. She says to give her children better opportunities.

"To give them the tools it really takes to be successful. I have to look at the choices that I have. If I have the choice to send my child to a class with nine kids in it, or a classroom with 26 kids in it, I have to look at where is she going to excel the best," Sheffer said.

Opponents maintain that the voucher system takes money away from public schools..

House Bill 1033, the voucher expansion, is still being debated by lawmakers.

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