Anti-school choice ruling not all bad

Thursday, May 16, 2013
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

Although the Louisiana Supreme Court has invalidated the funding for the state's school choice program, an attorney with a foundation advocating school choice says there could be a silver lining.

In their 6-1 decision, the Louisiana justices ruled last week that the way the state funds school vouchers is unconstitutional on grounds that the money used was earmarked for public education only. As The Heritage Foundation points out, this ruling jeopardizes the educational opportunity of the 5,000 children who currently receive vouchers to attend a private school of choice.

Leslie Hiner of The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice explains the court's decision and how it could actually benefit other states.

"They have a named fund called the Minimum Foundation Program that is specifically designated to fund their public schools," Hiner notes. "And the court ruled that that very specific provision cannot be interpreted more broadly."

However, she points out that other states could benefit by this ruling when it comes to funding their own school choice programs.

"It is very important that you look very closely and pay attention to how the money flows to educate a child," the school choice advocate states. "So, if this Louisiana case can bring further attention to that -- that the fiscal side is very, very important -- that would be a good outcome."

Because of the highly specific way Louisiana funded school vouchers, Hiner adds that this is not the kind of case where courts in other states would look to this ruling for guidance.

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