This month, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of a number of parents and teachers’ unions in Louisiana Fed of Teachers, et al. v. State of Louisiana et al.; 2013-CA-0120 C/W, 2013-CA-0232, 2013-CA-0350, when it struck down the State’s school voucher program after determining it violated the State’s constitution. The Court did not hold the vouchers in and of themselves to be unconstitutional. Rather, the Court found that the voucher program’s funding structure—by which the State was required to make payments directly to private and religious institutions attended by voucher recipients—violated the State’s Constitutional provision requiring that, “funds appropriated [to education in public schools] shall be equitably allocated to parish and city school systems.”
This decision differs from the Indiana Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding that State’s voucher program in Teresa Meredith, et al. v. Mitch Daniels, et al. In Indiana, the State provides voucher funds to parents who may then spend them on the tuition of their choice. This avoids direct payments by the State to religious institutions.