Arizona Court to Hear Voucher Appeal

Last Updated: December 03, 2008

This appeared in the December 2008 Rural Policy Matters.

The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court's decision that struck down the state's two voucher programs as unconstitutional. The current program provide state tax voucher checks to some parents, who then sign the money over to private schools for tuition.

The issue at hand is whether the money "aids" private schools, which is prohibited by the state constitution.

The appellate judge ruled that tuition aids schools, but voucher proponents in Arizona and elsewhere maintain that state money that flows to parents is private in nature and does not directly benefit private schools.

Arizona has long been a test state for voucher program proponents, and there is already a law on the books that allows tax credit for donations to private school scholarship programs.

Currently, vouchers are available to parents of disabled children and former foster children who have been adopted. Supporters hope to implement a wider-scale program.

Read more:

News Coverage:

The Court of Appeals Opinion:

Read more from the December 2008 Rural Policy Matters.