Arizona Court of Appeals Rejects Voucher Schemes

The Arizona Court of Appeals today rejected publicly funded voucher schemes that send taxpayer money to religious and other private schools. People For the American Way, along with a group of allies, sued the state in 2006, pointing to clear language in the Arizona Constitution that forbids appropriating public money in aid of "private or sectarian schools."

“This is a victory for students, parents and schools. The Arizona Constitution is very clear on this issue, and I’m pleased that the Court saw that,” said People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert. “Taxpayer money shouldn’t be going to pay for religious or other private school education. It’s bad for kids, it’s bad for the government, and it’s bad for religious liberty. Vouchers don’t help students learn. They are a distraction that fails to address the real problems in our schools. The money that goes to vouchers can be better used for proven strategies that help all students, initiatives such as smaller class sizes, and teacher training.”

"In state after state we’ve seen that voucher schemes are unconstitutional or ineffective or both. It’s time that we stopped wasting time and energy debating a bad program, and started making real reforms to improve our schools."

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