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Lawsuit in NJ for Right to Vouchers for Students

School choice activists hope that they will be able to change the future of education finance litigation through a new lawsuit in New Jersey.

School choice activists hope that they will be able to change the future of education finance litigation through a new lawsuit in New Jersey. 

The suit, which was filed this month in Newark, seeks court-approved vouchers that could be redeemed at public or private schools-'"including religious ones-'"as a remedy to aid students in schools where large percentages of students fail to meet state standards.

But the suit faces significant legal obstacles, the chief of which is that the state constitution guarantees the right to a "thorough and efficient system of free public schools," contends a lawyer who has been involved in the 33-year-old effort to increase aid for public schools in New Jersey.

Mr. Bolick said that the New Jersey lawsuit would be a "national test case" for voucher supporters' strategy to redirect legal efforts by education advocates who use the education clauses in state constitutions to win increased financing for public schools.

The suit, which targets the state department of education, doesn't try to intervene in the ongoing Abbott v. Burke school finance case. Instead, the plaintiffs are seeking to help 60,000 students attending 97 schools choose schools they believe will better help them meet state standards.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2006/07/26/43finance.h25.html?levelId=2300&print=1

Published Friday, Aug. 11, 2006

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Lawsuit in NJ for Right to Vouchers for Students

School choice activists hope that they will be able to change the future of education finance litigation through a new lawsuit in New Jersey. 

The suit, which was filed this month in Newark, seeks court-approved vouchers that could be redeemed at public or private schools-'"including religious ones-'"as a remedy to aid students in schools where large percentages of students fail to meet state standards.

But the suit faces significant legal obstacles, the chief of which is that the state constitution guarantees the right to a "thorough and efficient system of free public schools," contends a lawyer who has been involved in the 33-year-old effort to increase aid for public schools in New Jersey.

Mr. Bolick said that the New Jersey lawsuit would be a "national test case" for voucher supporters' strategy to redirect legal efforts by education advocates who use the education clauses in state constitutions to win increased financing for public schools.

The suit, which targets the state department of education, doesn't try to intervene in the ongoing Abbott v. Burke school finance case. Instead, the plaintiffs are seeking to help 60,000 students attending 97 schools choose schools they believe will better help them meet state standards.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2006/07/26/43finance.h25.html?levelId=2300&print=1

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