Lawmakers Must Shield School Choice Reforms From Lawsuits

The fate of vouchers and tax credits will be decided in the courts.

Chip Mellor
Forbes.com
5/2/2011

As events in Washington, D.C., dominated headlines this spring, potentially historic education reforms in many state legislatures have gone largely unnoticed. Bills supporting parental choice through vouchers or tax credits have received unprecedented support in more than 20 state legislatures. Two choice programs, in Arizona and Colorado, have passed with another in Indiana expected to be passed imminently. Other states remain very much in play. As a result, hundreds of thousands of children currently receiving inadequate educations may soon have real options and the hope that brings.

But the fate of vouchers and tax credits will often be resolved in the courts, not the legislatures. Opponents of choice, led by the teachers’ unions, have vowed to challenge these reforms with litigation under state constitutions. Although that may sow strife, carefully crafted choice laws are likely to survive. Here’s why…

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