Weighing in on Vouchers
The Florida Supreme Court ruled Jan. 5 that one of the nation's highest-profile school voucher programs violates the state constitution's provision for a "uniform" system of public schools, and that the program "diverts public dollars into separate, private systems ... parallel to and in competition with the free public schools."
Voucher opponents praised the court's decision, claiming the state legislature will now be able to devote public dollars to improving public education, rather than subsidizing private alternatives. Others, like Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, argue that the decision sets a dangerous precedent, one that could deprive minority and inner-city students of the choice of better schools.
Are voucher programs unconstitutional? Do their potential benefits outweigh their cost to public school system uniformity?