A judge in Indiana has rejected a request to block the state's new school voucher program.
Teachers and some religious leaders were seeking an injunction against the vouchers, claiming they violate the state constitution by providing public money to religious institutions.
Marion Superior Court Judge Michael Keele denied their request Monday, saying the program is "religion-neutral," and taxpayer money will only be paid to religious schools when a parent chooses to do so.
"This is a victory for all low- and middle-income Indiana families who strive to provide quality education to their children by finding a school that fits their learning needs," voucher program supporter School Choice Indiana said in a statement.
Lafayette School Corp. Superintendent Ed Eiler, one of the plaintiffs in the case, was not discouraged by the ruling.
"We all knew this was the first step in the process," Eiler said. "In the end, the only opinions that really matter are of the ... Supreme Court justices. We will wait and go through the process. ... We'll see where the Supreme Court rules on it."