Published Online: September 3, 2014

NC Supreme Court rejects emergency voucher release

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The N.C. Supreme Court has rejected a request from lawmakers for the emergency release of voucher funds during their appeal of a court decision that declared the program unconstitutional.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the court offered little explanation for the Tuesday's decision.

Last month, the new school voucher program for low-income families was ruled unconstitutional by a judge who said taxpayer money should not be used for tuition to private or religious schools. Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood said the vouchers pay for students to attend privately run K-12 schools that do not have to meet state curriculum requirements.

Last week, legislative leaders and parents who backed the N.C. "Opportunity Scholarship" program went to the Supreme Court when a similar request to the N.C. Court of Appeals failed. Advocates had hoped the appeal would let the program continue.

A teachers group and many of the state's 115 school boards challenged the voucher program.

The State Educational Assistance Authority, which was given the task of managing $10 million in government-funded scholarships, planned to distribute the first $728,000 in tuition money to schools for 363 students two days prior to Hobgood's decision. None of that money was given out, said the agency's grants director Elizabeth McDuffie.


Information from: The News & Observer,

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