Contact: Louise Filkins
Phone: 202-419-1820

WASHINGTON, DC — The Independent Women’s Forum decries today’s decision by the First District Court of Appeals in Florida that strikes down the state law allowing children in failing schools to receive vouchers to attend a school of their parents’ choice.

The 2-1 decision by the First District Court upholds a 2002 ruling by a trial judge who claimed the Opportunity Scholarship program violates the separation between church and state since parents can use the vouchers to send their children to a religious school. Fortunately, students can still receive the vouchers pending a final appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

“This decision is a disaster for the 640 families who have been using these vouchers to send their children to a quality alternative school,” said Carrie Lukas, director of policy at the Independent Women’s Forum. “This voucher program freed these students from government-run schools that had failed to meet basic standards of achievement. My heart goes out to those parents who, because of this decision, may now have to send their kids back to these failing schools.”

Last month, IWF released a report, Recess from Reality: The Feminist Failure to Embrace School Choice, which chronicles the feminists’ unwillingness to acknowledge public education’s systemic problems and consider innovative reforms. The report highlights how women can benefit from school choice and encourages all women to join the chorus of school choice supporters.