Thursday, August 21, 2014

Breaking News: Judge Rules Republican Voucher Scheme Unconstitutional

"Appropriating taxpayer funds to unaccountable schools does not accomplish a public purpose," Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood said today in ruling a private school voucher scheme passed by the Republican-dominated General Assembly unconstitutional.

State lawmakers created the voucher program last year. Hobgood ruled that the private schools which would be beneficiaries of the voucher plan can discriminate in their admissions and don't have the same curriculum and teacher certification standards as North Carolina's public schools.

Under the long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit, the General Assembly is required to ensure students receive a sound education, and Hobgood said lawmakers can't delegate that authority to "unregulated private schools" and to parents "who have self-assessed their children to be at risk."
"It appears to this court that the General Assembly is seeking to push at-risk students from low-income families into non-public schools in order to avoid the cost of providing them a sound, basic education in public schools as mandated by the Leandro decision," he said. "The General Assembly fails the children of North Carolina when they are sent with public, taxpayer money to private schools that have no legal obligation to teach them anything."
Judge Hobgood has been on the receiving end of GOP spite about other rulings and was largely the target of the recent provision slipped into the budget bill that will prevent individual judges from ruling on the constitutionality of laws passed by the Republican majority in the General Assembly.

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