[JURIST] A North Carolina judge ruled Thursday that North Carolina’s school voucher program, known as Opportunity Scholarships [official website] is unconstitutional. Judge Robert Hobgood of the Wake County Superior Court specifically ruled that the program violates article 1 section 15 and article 9 section 2(1) of the North Carolina constitution [text], ordering a permanent injunction against the Opportunity Scholarships program. Hobgood said:
The plaintiffs—public schools grades K through 12 and the taxpayers of North Carolina—will suffer irreparable harm if the state is not permanently enjoined from making unconstitutional disbursement of taxpayer funds to parents for the enrollment of their children in private schools. The court issues a permanent injunction to any further implementation of the opportunity scholarship program.
The judge denied a request for a stay pending appeal citing that it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the program is unconstitutional.
The issue of private school vouchers has also been litigated in other states. In May the Louisiana Supreme Court [official website] struck down [JURIST report] that state’s school voucher program. In March the Indiana Supreme Court [official website] upheld [JURIST report] a school voucher program in that state. In 2008 Arizona’s school voucher program was struck down, and in 2006 Florida’s was struck down [JURIST reports] as well.