• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Free at least

The Evansville Courier & Press has the same problem I do in grasping the difference between textbooks and school bus rides:

Indiana law providing for a free public education grows curiouser and curiouser. How could a school bus ride be essential to a uniform system of public education, but textbooks are not?

Consider that on Monday, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller rendered an opinion that it is unconstitutional for public school districts to charge students a fee for taking the bus to and from school.

[. . .]

According to the Associated Press, the opinion said that school districts have no legal authority to assess and collect a fee from students for transportation to and from school in order to receive a public education. It said that transportation is part of a uniform system of public education in Indiana.

We take no issue with Zoeller's opinion, but we have to ask about textbook rentals charged directly to Indiana parents. Are not textbooks an integral part of the educational experience, perhaps second only to teachers?

In pledging a "free" education for Indiana students, the state constitution says no tuition may be collected, and what's happening is that differences of legal opinion are developing on what is and what is not "tuition." Unless they want to see the issue litigated forever, fol