A new court ruling finds Arizona’s school voucher program for students with disabilities is constitutional.
The ruling released last week rejects arguments by opponents of the program that it violates state constitutional prohibitions on using public money to support religious or private schools.
Judge Maria del Mar Verdin of Maricopa County Superior Court agreed with school choice advocates that the program is constitutional because it gives discretion to parents on how to spend the money.
That means the state, Judge Verdin wrote, “is not directing where monies are going to go.”
Don Peters, a lawyer for the challengers—school boards, teachers, and school business officials said they will appeal.
The Arizona legislature approved a bill creating the program in 2011.
The program specifies that parents must spend the voucher money on education costs, such as private school tuition, tutoring, required textbooks, and savings for college expenses.
A version of this article appeared in the February 01, 2012 edition of Education Week as Court Approves Ariz. Voucher Law