In an effort to avoid expenditures related to a growing public school population and to provide parental choice, the Southeast Delaware County School District in Pennsylvania approved a program of tax benefits for families who relieve the district of public school expenses by sending their children to private schools or public schools in other districts. The program was challenged by a teachers’ union and others, alleging violations of the state constitution and statutes (but not raising federal constitutional issues). IJ represented the school district.
The state trial court ruled against the school district, holding that the program exceeded the district’s statutory powers. In December 1999, the state court of appeals upheld the trial court’s decision. The school district decided not to appeal this decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.