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ERIC Number: EJ787781
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Voting down Vouchers
Bolick, Clint
Education Next, v8 n2 p46-51 Spr 2008
In 1999 the Ohio Supreme Court found the Cleveland school voucher program to be constitutional, thereby allowing the three-year-old initiative to continue. However, the school voucher program was ended when Judge Solomon Oliver enjoined the program after the anti-voucher coalition filed suit asking for a preliminary injunction. The judge's decision provoked a powerful backlash that newspaper editorials condemned it. In 2002, the decision was itself overturned by the Supreme Court in "Zelman v. Simmons-Harris," which found no violation of the "establishment of religion" clause of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment as long as students had a choice of school, religious or secular. The anti-voucher lobby learned a valuable lesson: fighting school choice in the abstract is fine, but forcing disadvantaged kids out of good schools is risky business. Five years later, the tables turned. School choice activists celebrated the passage of the nation's first universal voucher program in Utah. Making use of a little-known provision in the Utah constitution, voucher opponents put the new law up for a referendum, where voters killed the voucher program by a large margin. This article details what happened to the voucher program in Utah and describes the lessons learned in the process. (Contains 1 figure.)
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan; Ohio; Utah
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment