Thursday, April 07, 2005

Florida Supremes will hear voucher case

I missed this one from the other day:

High court to consider the legality of vouchers

TALLAHASSEE - (AP) -- Attorneys will have a chance to argue the constitutionality of Florida's first school voucher law in the state Supreme Court on June 7, the court said Tuesday.

The 1999 law, which allows children at failing public schools to transfer at state expense to private and parochial schools, has been ruled unconstitutional by the First District Court of Appeal. It concluded that the law violated the separation of church and state.

The court may consider another constitutional issue as well. A trial judge ruled that the law violates a part of the state Constitution that requires the state to provide a public school system -- but the First DCA overturned that decision.

The law was challenged the day after Gov. Jeb Bush signed it six years ago. Nearly 700 children attend private schools under the law.

More than a dozen groups have filed ''friend-of-the-court'' briefs. The U.S. Department of Justice is supporting the state, and the International Reading Association backs the voucher opponents. Those include the Florida Education Association, the state teachers union; the Florida PTA; the NAACP and the League of Women Voters.

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