Sunday, November 14, 2010
November 5th, 2010
When the Supreme Court took up a case about a school choice program in Arizona this week, Justice Elena Kagan said she had been “puzzling and puzzling” over it. Why, she asked the state’s lawyer, instead of providing families with vouchers, is
’s program “so much more complicated and complex and unusual”? Arizona
The short answer is that the state’s Constitution prohibits direct aid to private schools. A more important one is that the convolutions hide a problem we’re not supposed to see. The program appears to be unconstitutional. As the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled, it appears to violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause by disbursing state funds on the basis of religion.
In a July interview with AP, then gubernatorial hopeful Tom Corbett said that one of his first actions as Governor would be to advocate making public money available to pay for tuition at parochial and other private schools.
Here is a link to Senate Bill 1405, which would create “opportunity scholarships” for low-income children residing in school districts with at least one chronically failing school: