Sep 15, 2011

In May 1996, the town of Chittenden, Vermont, which does not maintain a public high school but pays tuition to nearby public and nonsectarian private schools, decided to begin paying for its students to attend a local Catholic school. After the state refused to authorize the payments, the town filed suit. AU assisted local members and taxpayers who intervened in the lawsuit to ensure that public tax dollars were not spent on education at sectarian schools. In June 1997, the superior court sided with the state and the intervenors, ruling that the town could not use vouchers for religious education. On June 11, 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court agreed, holding unanimously that the voucher plan would violate the church-state provisions of the state constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the decision in November 1999.