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Incoming Indiana schools chief dropping out of voucher suit

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Incoming state school Superintendent Glenda Ritz says she intends to remove herself as a plaintiff in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the state's popular school voucher program.

Ritz, a school librarian, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she would drop out of the legal challenge after a state Supreme Court hearing set for Wednesday and before she takes office Jan. 14.

The Democrat defeated Republican Superintendent Tony Bennett in the Nov. 6 election after campaigning against reform policies including the school voucher program, which opponents say undermines public education.

Ritz says she is pledged to uphold state law as the new state superintendent, and remaining part of the suit would present a conflict of interest.

But she says she still believes the current program is unconstitutional.

Enrollment in the nation's largest school voucher program has more than doubled since last year.

The Indiana Department of Education said Tuesday that more than 9,300 families have signed up for vouchers for the 2012-13 school year. That compares with about 3,900 who took part in the program's first year.

Families that take part in the School Choice Scholarship Program receive tax money to help pay the cost of private school. Under the program, vouchers can cover up to 90 percent of the cost of tuition, depending on a family's income. The actual value of the vouchers is less than the amount of tax money a public school would have received for that student.

The maximum value for students in grades one through eight is $4,500.

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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