Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

Federal Judge Strikes Down Cleveland School Voucher Program

August 27, 1999
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

A federal judge has struck down one of the nation’s oldest school voucher programs, one that allowed Cleveland students to attend private or parochial schools at taxpayer expense. The judge’s decision has caused some confusion: with schools opening this week, district officials braced for the possibility of having to absorb thousands of children cut off from private schools.

Supporters of school choice plan to appeal Tuesday’s decision by U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr., whose injunction halted the voucher program until a trial determines whether it violates the constitutional separation of church and state. Most of the 56 private schools participating in the program are religious schools. The state-fundedprogram covers up to $2,500 in tuition costs per child for poor families so they can attend private schools. This year, over 4,000 students from kindergarten through fifth grade have signed up.

Guests:

  • Keith Bryant, field director, North Carolina Education Reform Foundation.
  • Dick Komer, Senior litigation attorney, Institute For Justice.
  • Phil Wilayto, A Job Is a Right Campaign.
  • Fred Clarkson, author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy (Common Courage Press, 1997.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.