Arizona Supreme Court Rules Vouchers Unconstitutional

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The dead hand of anti-Catholic Know-Nothing bigotry reached out from the grave to strike down two voucher programs yesterday. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled against voucher programs for children with disabilities, and for children in foster care. The almost 500 children in those two programs, passed in 2006, will be allowed to finish out the current school year under the voucher program.

The Arizona Supreme Court explicitly rejected similar arguments in Kotterman v. Killian, which decided the constitutionality of the Arizona tax credit program. The court recognized the Blaine amendment as a product of 19th century anti-Catholic bias, writing that, “We would be hard pressed to divorce the amendment’s language from the insidious discriminatory intent that prompted it.”

Saddly, the current Arizona Supreme Court felt no such constraints.

I thought I would share one of the idiotic comments made by an anonymous poster on an Arizona newspaper site:

Vouchers was just a scam to give money to parents rich enough to send their kids to private schools.

There is no private school that can compete with public (“no profit motive”) school, hence the voucher cannot fully fund a private school education.

It’s a giveaway, plain and simple, with the bonus side effect of destroying the education system for people too poor to send their kids to private schools.

Nice try, but no cigar!

I’d love to see this ignorant fool explain this to one of the plaintiffs in the case, a single mother of a child with multiple disabilities who works in a beauty salon.

The people who brought this suit should be ashamed of themselves. In the greatest of ironies, these so-called progressives have removed the most direct method for progressive school choice, that is to say, school choice which differentiates between students based upon need. Arizona legislators could pass a personal use tax credit for private school expenses, and it would survive court challenge. We won’t do that, mind you, but it is the corner that these people are trying to paint us.

For years, ideologically blinded idiots like the one quoted above have accused choice supporters of wanting to provide school choice for rich kids, blah blah blah. Don’t confuse us with any facts. Of course, they never blink at shelling out $18,000 for the son of a billionaire to attend a public economic segregation academy in North Scottsdale.

School choice for rich kids? Open your eyes- it’s all around you.


3 Responses to Arizona Supreme Court Rules Vouchers Unconstitutional

  1. Brian G. says:

    Educational impacts aside, the fundamental effect of vouchers is to eliminate constraints. Wealthy families by definition are not constrained. Thus any effort to preclude or eliminate vouchers has its greatest impact on those who are most constrained in their schooling choices, less wealthy families. Opponents of vouchers have always had it backwards, their fundamental ignorance of economics leads them to believe that an even higher percentage of children from wealthier families would attend private schools under vouchers, when in fact, the biggest increases will be among those most constrained, i.e. children from less wealthy families. The inability of state supreme courts to apply even a basic understanding of economics to important education policy decisions is another major reason why state education finance systems are largely unsuccessful in helping achieve important educational policy objectives.

  2. matthewladner says:

    Control B!

  3. […] Arizona Supreme Court rules voucher program unconstitutional Arizona’s Supreme court has banned their voucher program because it is unconstitutional. 500 students were enrolled and will be allowed to complete the year in their currently schools. (H/T Independent Women’s Forum and Jay P. Greene). […]

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