Tag Archives: Arizona Supreme Court

Arizona Lawmakers' Quick, Creative Work Makes Me So Happy for Lexie

Sometimes even shameful things can work out for good, with good people working hard to make sure kids can keep the quality education options they have received through school choice. In Arizona, thankfully they worked very quickly. Things went awry on March 25, when the Arizona Supreme Court ruled on a shameful lawsuit by shutting down two voucher programs that served special-needs and foster care kids. Even then, though, as my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow reported for School Reform News, there was a ray of light: [Executive director of the Arizona chapter of the Institute for Justice Tim] Keller said that remains a possibility in Arizona, where it could be accomplished by popular vote either through a legislatively initiated referendum or a citizens’ petition drive. “Right now, every conceivable legal option is still on the table,” he said. Fast forward 65 days to this monumental press release from the Alliance for School Choice:


Arizona Judges Strike Down Opportunity for Disabled, Foster Kids

Yesterday I mentioned that Florida is seeking to get rid of the bigoted Blaine Amendment, which some opponents of school choice use to take away opportunities from kids in need. But even in states that don’t have the Blaine Amendment, judges can use parts of the state constitution to strike down school choice programs. Witness yesterday’s decision from a court in another state: It is unconstitutional for the state to give parents money to help pay private-school tuition for their disabled or foster children, the Arizona Court of Appeals decided Thursday. Kids with disabilities and foster kids? That’s harsh. The 2006 law violates the state Constitution’s ban on using public money to aid private schools, the panel said. “The tuition payments aid parents, not schools,” said attorney Tim Keller, who argued to save the tuition payments, known as vouchers. “The intent of the legislation was to help families get their disadvantaged children the best education available.” This news is sad to see. But at least the good people at the Institute for Justice are going to challenge this case to the Arizona Supreme Court.