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Cleveland’s Voucher Program Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that the city’s government funded school voucher program is unconstitutional because vouchers funnel government funds into religious school education„a violation of laws separating church and state. Of the 4,000 vouchers issued to children in lower income families, 96 percent of the children attended religious schools. Because school vouchers are paid for by taking money out of the government funded public school system, when those funds end up in schools financed by churches, the First Amendment is violated. Federal appeals courts in other cities have reached similar conclusions, including one in Boston. Maine and Vermont’s voucher programs allow funds to pay for tuition at private schools, but not at religiously affiliated schools. The case in Cleveland will likely go before another appeals court or directly to the US Supreme Court.

Sources:

Washington Post _ December 12, 2000

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