The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of Ohio's school voucher program in Cleveland. Under the program, impoverished inner-city parents receive money for tuition at private and parochial schools.
Elaine Barclay, whose two daughters attend a Baptist school under the program, told the Associated Press, "It's an excellent program. We were praying they would rule for the vouchers."
Conservative organizations are hailing the decision, issued on June 27. "This is a landmark decision that will revolutionize the educational system in this country," said Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, which filed an amicus brief in the case. "The Supreme Court properly concluded that parents who want to use school vouchers at religious schools should not be targeted for discrimination in the educational process."
Cleveland's public schools met just four of 27 performance standards last year. In the program, parents with low average annual incomes receive $2,250 for tuition at the school of their choice. More than 96 percent of the money disbursed to parents in the six-year-old program has flowed to religious, mostly Catholic, schools. Writing for the 5-4 majority, Chief Justice William Rehnquist said the program is constitutional because recipients could "direct the aid to schools or institutions of their own choosing."1