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Nation IN BRIEF : OHIO

Judicial Panel Rejects School Voucher Plan

May 02, 1997|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The first program in the nation to offer poor parents vouchers to send their children to religious schools was declared unconstitutional by the state District Court of Appeals, which ruled 3-0 that a $5.5-million pilot program in Cleveland advances religion in violation of the separation of church and state. Begun last fall, it gives 2,000 low-income parents $2,500 per child to help them send their kindergartners through third-graders to one of 53 private schools, 80% of which are affiliated with a religion. The legal action was brought by a teachers union and a taxpayer group. Gov. George Voinovich, the program's most prominent defender, said he will appeal.

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