“While I have great respect for the court, I am disappointed in today’s decision,” Ritz said in a statement. “As State Superintendent, I will follow the court’s ruling and faithfully administer Indiana’s voucher program. However, I personally believe that public dollars should go to public schools, and I encourage Hoosiers to send that message to their representatives in the Statehouse.”
There is still some question about how popular the vouchers are in Indiana. Voters in November replaced former Republican Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett, long the state’s most visible supporter of vouchers, with Ritz, a Democrat who opposing the measure. But voters also awarded a supermajority to House Republicans, who have pushed for a sweeping expansion of vouchers this year.
The bill is awaiting action in the state Senate, where there have been concerns about its cost and whether the Legislature should start making exceptions to the 2011 compromise that then-Gov. Mitch Daniels touted as giving public schools a chance to win over students and parents.