AZ Supreme Court Calls School Voucher Program Unconstitutional


Last week’s Arizona Supreme Court decision striking down two school voucher programs is a welcome action that protects religious liberty and public education, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The Arizona high court, ruling unanimously, said the voucher subsidies violate a provision of the Arizona Constitution barring tax funding of religious and other private schools.

“This important decision reflects our best traditions,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “It upholds the right of taxpayers to support only the religious institutions of their choice. Public funds should be spent at public schools.”

Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Cain v. Horne case, urging the court to strike down the state programs. Vouchers, said AU, plainly run afoul of Article IX, Section 10 of the Arizona Constitution, which states that no tax appropriations may be made “in aid of any church, or private or sectarian school….”

Arizona is one of 37 states with strong constitutional provisions that bar the diversion of tax funding to religious schools. Other state courts have ruled against school vouchers in the past, and more may do so in the future.

Read the Opposing Views debate, Should Cities and States Fund School Vouchers?


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