Does state law require public schools to be "open to all"?


Does state law mandate "equality of educational opportunity"?


Do the courts recognize education as a fundamental right?


State Constitution

Art. 8 § 1. Knowledge and learning, generally diffused throughout a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; it should be the duty of the General Assembly to encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual scientific, and agricultural improvement; and provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all.


In Indiana, attendance zones could be vulnerable to a challenge based on the promise in the state constitution that the public schools be “equally open to all.”

Open Enrollment

Ind. Code § 20-25- 7-1 (applies only to Indianapolis):“The school city shall offer a parental choice program that allows a parent the opportunity to choose the school in the school city that the parent’s child will attend.” The school can deny admission because of “building capacity.”

Ind. Code § 20-26- 11-5 states that parents or guardians may request transfer for their student to a differ- ent school corporation, but requests may be denied by either the sending or receiving district.

State Law Establishing Attendance Zones

Ind. Code § 20-25-4-12 states that boards of school commissioners “may … divide the city into districts for school attendance purposes.”

State Law Criminalizing Use Of Incorrect Address

Ind. Code § 20-33-8-17:“A student may be expelled from school if the student’s legal settlement is not in the attendance area of the school corporation where the student is enrolled.”

Charter School Admissions

All charter schools are forbidden from discriminating against students based on their residential address and must use a lottery. Ind. Code § 20-24-5-5