Saturday, January 07, 2006

Florida Court Throws Out Jeb's Voucher Scheme


By Linda Kleindienst Tribune Newspapers: South Florida Sun-Sentinel Published January 6, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.

-- The state Supreme Court on Thursday struck down Florida's landmark school voucher law--the only statewide voucher program in the country and a cornerstone of education reforms championed by Gov. Jeb Bush.

In a 5-2 decision, justices ruled that the Opportunity Scholarship Program violates a constitutional mandate that the state provides for a "uniform, effective, safe, secure and high quality system of public schools" by illegally siphoning off public dollars to benefit private schools.

A disappointed Bush vowed to find a way to continue the 1999 program although he has no specific plan yet. He credited the threat of students leaving failing public schools with helping to boost individual student test scores and school grades.

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