Terry Goddard (R)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline)-Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is urging the state Supreme Court to strike down a lower-court decision that it's unconstitutional to give taxpayer money to parents to help pay for private-school tuition. " />

Goddard asks justices to overturn school vouchers ruling

Terry Goddard (R)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline)-Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is urging the state Supreme Court to strike down a lower-court decision that it's unconstitutional to give taxpayer money to parents to help pay for private-school tuition.

The Republican attorney general is asking the high court to overturn an Arizona Court of Appeals ruling in May that determined the 2006 law violated the state Constitution's ban on using public money to aid private schools.

Goddard's office filed the petition on behalf of state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, who wants to reinstate the state-funded scholarships, which are commonly known as vouchers, for disabled and foster children.

Last year, the state paid private school tuition for about 350 students.

Also urging the justices to overturn the appeals court ruling is the Institute for Justice's Arizona chapter, which has filed a brief on behalf of 19 parents.

"The appellate court disregarded decades of Arizona Supreme Court precedent and long-standing Arizona policy of supporting education in both public and private schools," said Tim Keller, executive director of the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter.

"For the sake of the children relying on these scholarships, as well as consistent application of Arizona law, it is essential that the state Supreme Court review and ultimately reverse the appellate court's opinion," he added.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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