On Friday, a state judge in Louisiana ruled that the state’s school voucher program — which allowed tax dollars to be used for schools that teach things like the Loch Ness monster is real and proves that the theory of evolution is wrong — is unconstitutional.
This is good news, but it would be much better news if the reason for the judge’s ruling was that using public funds for religious education was unconstitutional. But, rather than considering this a church/state separation issue, the basis of the ruling was that the state’s constitution prohibits using money appropriated for the state’s education fund for anything other than public schools. This gives the proponents of the voucher system an out. If the legislature appropriates money for the voucher program and keeps it separate from the state’s education fund, it wouldn’t be unconstitutional to use it for religious schools since the constitutional issue that was raised was merely about what fund the money is coming from and not that the money is being used to teach religion.
Bobby Jindal has vowed to appeal the decision, and the voucher program will continue pending the appeal.