N.C. Supreme Court Rules That Public Tax Dollars Can Be Used To For Religious, Private School Attendance

“We have entered a dangerous new era when public funds can be sent to unaccredited, standardless private schools that are free to discriminate based on disability and religion.”
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    Supporters say that increased transparency in the DATA ACT would allow for easy comparison between congressional education funding and spending on the local and neighborhood level. (Photo/BarbaraLN via Flickr)

    RALEIGH — The N.C. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that North Carolina can use public tax dollars to help children attend private and religious schools.

    The 4-3 decision reverses a ruling last summer by Judge Robert Hobgood in N.C. Superior Court.

    The decision, which broke along political party lines with four Republican justices ruling to uphold the program and the three Democrats dissenting, means $10.8 million is freed for a program that has sparked much debate. State lawmakers want to provide $17.6 million in vouchers for the coming school year and to expand the program’s income-eligibility guidelines.

    The four justices who ruled for the voucher program – Chief Justice Mark Martin and Justices Robert Edmunds, Barbara Jackson and Paul Newby – concluded that using tax dollars for education was a public purpose.

    In his majority opinion, Martin wrote that, according to the most recent figures published by the Department of Public Instruction, a large percentage of economically disadvantaged students in North Carolina are not grade-level proficient in the subjects tested on the state’s end-of-year exams.

    “Disagreement exists as to the innovations and reforms necessary to address this and other educational issues in our state,” Martin acknowledged in the ruling. “Our state and country benefit from the debate between those with differing viewpoints in this quintessentially political dialogue.

    “Such discussions inform the legislative process. But the role of judges is distinguishable, as we neither participate in this dialogue nor assess the wisdom of legislation.”

    Read more:

    NC Supreme Court upholds school voucher program

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    • BonoboMan

      What a conservative thing to do. Keeping in mind, the last time America was a theocracy we burned people at the stake.

    • ThrowAway

      You guys had no problem when the Supreme Court decided the govt could compel you to engage in commerce. That flies in the face of several hundred years of common law precedent. And based on the final product the public school system turns out I think you’d be hard pressed to argue that this is any more stupid than what you’re already doing.

    • BHGolf

      After all, it is School Choice! Besides no one says anything to non Catholics when they attend Catholics University’s

    • dana becker

      this has to be a violation of church and state if they are allowed to deny access based on religious beliefs. I hope the lawsuits start coming fast and hard. We cannot allow judges or the legislatures turn us into a theological country.

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