In recent months and especially since Zelman, pro-voucher groups have increasingly tried to hitch their wagon to a star-weaving 'civil rights' themes into their message in the hopes that this will resonate with the public and elected officials. Specifically, voucher backers are comparing the Cleveland ruling to the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.
State Circuit Court Judge Kevin Davey today ruled that Florida’s 1999 "A+" voucher law violates the state’s constitution, which prohibits the use of public funds to support religious schools. The decision, which is likely to be appealed by the state, was hailed by People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). PFAWF, which has offices in both Miami and Tallahassee, is co-counsel in the case to the parties who have challenged the voucher law.
Analysis of the average cost in excess of private school tuition paid by Wisconsin taxpayers is illuminating. Both the numbers of schools receiving this state subsidy and the average dollar amount of that subsidy are high. Eighty-nine percent of the religious schools participating in the voucher program—54 out of a total of 61—received a voucher payment that exceeds their school tuition.