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Court Strikes Funding Method for La. Voucher Program

The Louisiana Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the state's method for funding its private school voucher program.

The state's highest court held 6-1 that under the Louisiana Constitution, the per-pupil allocation of state education aid, known as the Minimum Foundation Program, must go to public schools. Under the 2012 law expanding the state's voucher program, a portion of per-pupil aid follows a voucher student to his or her private school. The law also created the Course Choice program authorizing state aid to pay for certain online courses.

"The state funds approved through the unique MFP process cannot be diverted to nonpublic schools or other nonpublic course providers according to the clear, specific and unambiguous language of the constitution," the majority said in the May 7 opinion in Louisiana Federation of Teachers v. State of Louisiana.

The court also held that state lawmakers violated certain procedural requirements in adopting the program.

Over at Education Week's Charters & Choice blog, Katie Ash has more on the decision, which is pretty specific to Louisiana but because of the size of the voucher program has attracted reaction from national groups on both sides of the voucher debate.

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