The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on the constitutionality of the state's school choice program.
The program, which provided vouchers to 9,300 families this year, allows parents to get funding for their child to attend a different school.
Opponents said the vouchers, most of which pay for private schooling primarily at religious institutions, are unconstitutional.
"We have funds that would otherwise be distributed to pay for the public education of these children and those funds are being taken and being used instead to provide a voucher," attorney John West said.
The state argued that the vouchers allow all students, no matter their income level, to choose what school to attend. Solicitor General Tom Fisher argued that the state is not providing funds directly for religious purposes, but simply educational ones.
"School choice happens, regardless of this program. It's a question of whether it's only going to be something the wealthy can afford or whether it's something the lower income can afford," Fisher said.
Incoming State Superintendent Glenda Ritz was formerly named among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Ritz said that while she can't change the program or the court's decision, she would improve accountability when she takes office. Ritz said she still fundamentally disagrees with the voucher system.
"Public dollars were meant to go to public schools," Ritz said.
There is no timeline for a decision. If there's an appeal, the case could make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
School vouchers tested before Indiana Supreme Court