Arizona Appeals Court Strikes Down School Vouchers

Arizona’s school voucher law, which gave parents money to help pay private and religious school tuition for disabled or foster children, was struck down by the Arizona Court of Appeals.

The court held the law violated the state constitution’s ban on using public money to aid private schools.

“Only by ignoring the plain text of the Arizona Constitution prohibiting state aid to private schools could we find the aid represented by the payment of tuition fees to such schools in this case constitutional,” the court said, in its Cain v. Horne ruling.

The state’s teachers union and local school boards filed the suit last year and appealed after losing in county court.

“[Vouchers] divert funds from an already strapped system and channel them to private organizations that, unlike public schools, are not required to be accountable for how the money is spent or the level of achievement that results,” said Panfilo Contreras, executive director of the Arizona School Boards Association.