The Supreme Court may give school vouchers a reprieve. Congress has essentially rejected the hotly contested proposal. Meanwhile, the justices have agreed to determine the constitutionality of an Ohio tuition voucher program. The case has potentially broad, national implications.

The Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program, which began in 1996, provides up to $2,250 to the families of more than 4,000 poor, urban children. Parents can use the vouchers to send their children to other schools, and most choose religious schools. No suburban public schools participate in the program.

Solicitor General Theodore Olson encouraged the court to take the case. The high court's ruling will be the first on vouchers since 1973, when it struck down a New York program.

"If the court upholds [Cleveland's] program, it will vindicate at last the promise of equal educational opportunities," says Clint Bolick, vice president of the conservative Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice, which has represented some families in the program.

President Bush made vouchers a significant plank in his proposed education legislation, but this part of his reform package was excluded from the House and Senate versions (CT, Aug. 6). Proponents say vouchers allow parents more choices; opponents, such as the National Education Association, say they violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Related Elsewhere:

See more updates in Yahoo's full coverage areas on the education curriculum and policy and school choice and tuition vouchers. has information on The Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program. tries to present the voucher debate from a variety of perspectives.

More Christianity Today articles on school reforms are available in our education area. Previous articles on school vouchers include:

Conservatives Vow to Revive Vouchers | Proposal left out of education reform bills. (July 19, 2001)

Reading, Writing, and Reform | Vouchers dropped, but testing, tax credits remain in Bush education plan. (June 10, 2001)

Vouching for Parents | Vouchers are not an attack on public schools but a vote of trust in families. (April 2, 2001)

Weblog: Appeals Court Says Vouchers Violate Church-State Separation (Dec. 13, 2000)

Religious Right Loses Power | A few victories, but more losses for conservatives. (Dec. 18, 2000)

School Choice Measures in Tight Races | Recent surveys show much opposition to voucher initiatives in California and Michigan. (Sept. 27, 2000)

Florida School Voucher Plan Struck Down by State Judge | Church-state issues not addressed in ruling. (March 24, 2000)

Judge Freezes Voucher Enrollments | (Oct. 4, 1999)

Editorial: Religious Schools Make the Grade | Give Wisconsin an 'A' for saying no to secularist nonsense. (Aug. 10, 1999)

Voucher Plan Draws Mixed Reviews (July 12, 1999)

Voucher Victory | School-choice advocates win in Wisconsin, but can the movement gain momentum? (Sept. 7, 1998)

Judge Stalls Voucher Expansion (March 3, 1997)

Voucher Opponents Vow to Gut Cleveland Program (Oct. 28, 1996)

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