Florida Vouchers Dealt Another Legal Blow
State Appeals Court Finds Opportunity Scholarships Violate Fla. Constitution
For the third time, a Florida court has struck down the state’s best-known voucher program, calling it unconstitutional because it allows students to attend religious schools with taxpayer money—a violation, the court said, of the state constitution.
The latest blow to the 5-year-old Opportunity Scholarship program was dealt Nov. 12 by the full panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee, which voted 8-5, with one abstention, to uphold an August decision by a three-member panel of that court that found the program unconstitutional. ( "Florida Weighs Impact of Ruling Against Voucher Program," Sept. 1, 2004.) The latest ruling puts the future of the voucher program, which now gives state-financed tuition vouchers of up to $3,900 to about 690 students, in further doubt.
The ruling disappointed Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican who has been the program’s chief proponent. Although he plans to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Florida, it is unclear whether that highest state...
This article is available to subscribers only.
To keep reading this article and more, subscribe now or start a 2-week FREE trial.