Sep 15, 2011

In 1995, the Ohio Legislature enacted a pilot voucher program for the city of Cleveland that provided state monies for low-income children to attend parochial and sectarian schools (the law also allowed for vouchers to be used at surrounding suburban public schools; however, no public school chose to participate). On January 31, 1996, AU, along with a coalition of education and civil rights groups, filed suit in Ohio state court to block implementation of the voucher program. Though the trial court upheld the program, its decision was reversed by a unanimous Ohio Court of Appeals, citing church-state concerns. In a mixed decision, on May 27, 1999, the Ohio Supreme Court found the program unconstitutional on a technical ground, but opined that the program would withstand church-state scrutiny if the technical problem were to be corrected.