People For the American Way

Arizona Supreme Court Rejects Voucher Schemes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2009

Contact: Drew Courtney or Josh Glasstetter at People For the American Way

Email: media@pfaw.org

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

Other: Array

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

“The Arizona Constitution is very clear on this issue, and I’m pleased that the court recognized that,” said Tanya Clay House, Director of Public Policy for People For the American Way. “This is a victory for students, parents, taxpayers, and all those who value religious liberty, as guaranteed through the separation between church and state. Taxpayer money shouldn’t be going to pay for private or parochial schools. It’s bad for kids, it’s bad for the government, and it’s bad for religious liberty. Study after study has shown that vouchers don’t help students learn. Instead, they drain resources away from proven strategies that do &mdash initiatives such as smaller class sizes, parental involvement and better teacher training.”

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You can read the court’s decision in the case here.