Briefly noted

The Florida Supreme Court has overturned that state’s school-voucher program, saying it violates the Florida Constitution. But the court’s decision January 5 did not address whether state money for parochial schools violates Florida’s religious freedom laws. Lower state courts had ruled against the Florida Opportunity Scholarship Program as well, citing a church-state separation provision of the Florida Constitution. But the high court’s decision turned on a different provision of the state’s charter, one that requires “a uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high-quality system of free public schools.” The voucher program violates that constitutional requirement, a 5-2 majority of the court said, because it “diverts public dollars into separate private systems parallel to and in competition with the free public schools that are the sole means set out in the Constitution for the state to provide for the education of Florida’s children.”


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