The Electric Commentary

Friday, January 06, 2006

Florida School Voucher Program Struck Down

Yesterday, a Florida Supreme Court struck down a Florida voucher program, essentially ruling that the Florida Constitution requires the state to spend money exclusively on public schools.

At Crescat Sententia, Will Baude explains the decision, and the reasons that it is asinine:

Now, to the naive reader of the constitution it might be a mystery how the "paramount duty" to provide "uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality . . . free public schools" forbids the government from also sending some money to follow students to private schools. The Florida Constitution also contains a clause that forbids money from the "state school fund" from being spent on things other than public schools, but the money spent in this program wasn't from the state school fund. The majority commits the usual trick of announcing that a provision has a purpose that justifies creating a new but clearly different provision that resembles the old provision only with a newer, broader swathe.

The creators of this program clearly took great pains to ensure its Constitutionality. The Florida Supreme Court, in this case, did what it so often does; It made up a law. Had the program used money from the state school fund, that would be another story, but that is not the case here.

But don't take my word for it. Read the decision yourself.


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