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Court upholds school voucher programs

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Bethany Hicks today ruled that the state’s school choice programs for special needs and foster children are constitutional.
“This is the fifth lawsuit that school choice opponents have filed against educational aid programs designed to help Arizona schoolchildren most in need, and it is the fifth time that courts have sided with kids,” said Tim Keller, executive director of the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter, in a statement.
Relying on U.S. Supreme Court and Arizona Supreme Court precedent, including 1999’s Kotterman v. Killian case upholding Arizona’s first tax credit scholarships program, Judge Hicks rejected opponents’ claims that the new scholarship programs violate the state Constitution.
The Arizona Education Association, the ACLU Foundation of Arizona, and the People for the American Way, among other groups, filed suit against the programs in February, alleging they violate the state Constitution.
School choice opponents had asked the Arizona Supreme Court to take the case in November 2006, without it going to the trial and appellate courts, but the Supreme Court declined that request in January, forcing opponents to re-file in the Maricopa County Superior Court.

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