Monday, November 19, 2012

An Update from the Courts

A number of opponents of educational choice have taken to the courts to litigate the future of the programs benefiting low-income families across the country. Here's an update on where things stand nationwide:

Indiana: On Wednesday, the Indiana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the Choice Scholarship Program that was enacted into law in 2012.  Twelve plaintiffs, including the newly-elected state superintendent of public education, have sued the state claiming the program in unconstitutional.  Marion Superior Judge Michael Keele rejected this claim earlier this year and ruled that the program is constitutional.  In the 2012-13 school year, more than 9,000 students are using a Choice Scholarship to attend the school of their parents’ choice. 

Louisiana: After the Louisiana state legislature—with strong bipartisan support—passed the statewide expansion of the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program statewide, the Louisiana Association of Educator sued to prevent the program from going forward. After a delay, the court date on the program is scheduled for November 28.

Oklahoma: In June, a Tulsa judge ruled the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program unconstitutional and there is no word on when the appeal will be heard, though Representative Jason Nelson predicts the program will be heard early next year.  In the 2012-13 school year, 188 students are participating in the program and three new schools are accepting voucher students.

Douglas County, Colorado: The Colorado State Court of Appeals is hearing oral arguments today on the constitutionality of the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program.  The lower court put an injunction on the program from moving forward after the program was created for students living in the Douglas County School District.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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