Thursday, March 30, 2006

Teachers Union Succeeds In Making School Vouchers Illegal In Supreme Court Case In Florida.

Here is a heartbreaking story that could only be made possible by the ill effects of government control over a failing education system and a teachers union determined to let no child leave it behind.

Octavia Lopez is a 17 year old junior, she studies hard and is a good student, she wants to be a nurse, but she comes from a poor family and lives in a school district that has received a failing rating by the state 3 years in a row now. But thanks to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who managed to get 3 small school choice initiatives passed, Octavia got the opportunity to attend Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School with the Opportunity Scholarship Program.

The OSP serves 733 students state wide, 62 of who are at this school of 416 students. The program provides vouchers, redeemable at private as well as public schools, to students at schools the state says are failing.

The school of choice for Octavia and her parents was Archbishop Curley. It is a fine catholic high school that sends over 98% of its graduates on to college. Definitely a school any parent concerned about there child’s education would like to be able to send them.

But Florida's Supreme Court fulfilled the desires of the teachers unions, and disrupted the lives of the 733 children and their parents across the state, including Olivia’s by declaring, the voucher program was unconstitutional under state law by a 5-2 vote.

The court held that the OSP violates the stipulation, that the state shall provide a "uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education."

Fortunately, for Octavia and the 62 other students at Archbishop Curley, the school has decided to keep them. But for the other 671 students across the state, it's either come up with the money for a private school, or its back to the failing school system that they tried to leave behind.

This court ruling in Florida shows one reason why choosing judges have become such a controversial battle. George Will fills us in about the Florida Supreme Court decision ruling school vouchers unconstitutional.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They can't leave the school behind because the school can't leave the child behind!!!