Magazine article The Christian Century

Supreme Court Allows Wisconsin Voucher Plan

Magazine article The Christian Century

Supreme Court Allows Wisconsin Voucher Plan

Article excerpt

The U.S. Supreme Court, in one of the most closely watched church-state cases of its new term, ruled November 9 that it would not review Wisconsin's controversial school voucher program that provides taxpayer money to parents sending their children to private schools, including religious ones. By deciding not to review a lower court ruling allowing expansion of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program to include private religious schools, the justices left intact the state's voucher program, which is good for up to $5,000 a year per child and is directed at poor families.

The action, by an 8-1 vote and without any explanatory comment, is not a decision on the Wisconsin plan and sets no national precedent. (Only Justice Stephen Breyer favored having the full court consider the case.) But supporters of vouchers, which has become a hot-button issue in education policy debate, were pleased with the ruling while opponents expressed disappointment.

Praising the court action, Wisconsin Republican Governor Tommy Thompson said: "This historic decision clears the way for impoverished families who want a better life for their children to choose schools that make the most sense to them. …

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