Ohio Upholds Constitutionality of School Vouchers

John Kramer
John Kramer · July 31, 1996

Washington, D.C. ­In a major triumph for school choice, Ohio state court judge Lisa Sadler upheld the constitutionality of the Cleveland scholarship program, opening the way for nearly 2,000 youngsters to attend private and religious schools this fall with public funds.

“This decision is a huge victory for school choice and a major breakthrough for the hopes and opportunities of low-income children,” declared Clint Bolick, litigation director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice, which defends the program on behalf of low-income families.

The program was challenged by two Ohio teacher unions and the American Civil Liberties Union on federal and state constitutional grounds, including the First Amendment religious establishment clause.

Ohio is the second state to create a school choice program. The first program, in Milwaukee, also is under court challenge and goes to trial in Madison on August 15. The Institute for Justice is defending that program’s constitutionality as well.

The Institute for Justice advances a rule of law under which individuals control their destinies as free and responsible members of society. Through strategic litigation, training, and outreach, the Institute secures greater protection for individual liberty, challenges the scope and ideology of the Regulatory Welfare State, and illustrates and extends the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment of liberty is denied by government. The Institute was founded in September 1991 by William Mellor and Clint Bolick.

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