Vouchers Boost Catholic Schools

Catholic elementary schools in Indiana are experiencing increased enrollment, in part because the state’s new school voucher program has enabled more than 3,200 students to attend religious or private schools this year. The educational scholarship program, perhaps the nation’s broadest voucher experiment, was passed by the state legislature in the spring. The program converts a portion of funds that would have gone to the public school system into a scholarship for use at a qualifying private school. About 70 percent of the approved state vouchers are for students opting to attend Catholic schools. The state’s education department approved about 250 religious or private schools for the program, allowing them to enroll students who are given scholarship aid based on family income. The program faces a court challenge from a group of teachers and religious leaders who claim it violates separation of church and state.

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