The Court ruled against Opportunity Scholarships for kids from failing schools
Florida’s Constitution protects all children’s right to the best education, not just the education options politically favored by some.
In 2006, the Supreme Court found that the Opportunity Scholarships Program was unconstitutional. At the time this program was considered one of the great school choice programs in the nation.
The Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) allowed kids in failing schools to use a scholarship to either attend another public school or a private school of their choice. It was legally challenged by the Florida Education Association (Teacher’s Union).
The Court ruled that the program took financial resources away from public schools. They re-interpreted the Florida Constitution to rule that it guaranteed a free and public education, so therefore meant all funds had to go to the traditional public school system.
Showing their bias against this specific program, the Court held that their ruling only applied to the Opportunity Scholarship Program. They ruled it did not apply to any other program where tax payer dollars are used for private schools, like the favored Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) that gives a scholarship to students to attend Private Colleges, or the McKay Scholarship program which provides vouchers for disabled students, allowing them to attend specialty private schools that can better serve them. Notably, neither of these programs has the affect on teachers union membership that the Opportunity Scholarship Program did.