A Democrat-appointed circuit court judge blocked a West Virginia school choice program from being implemented Wednesday, according to West Virginia’s MetroNews.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit ended the Hope Scholarship program, which provided taxpayer funds to students entering education options other than public schools, MetroNews reported. Tabit ruled that the program violated the state’s constitution because the state does not allow such a voucher program. (RELATED: Supreme Court Strikes Down Voucher Program That Discriminated Against Religious Schools)
Democrat Gov. Earl Ray appointed Tabit in 2014. The Hope Scholarship was established in 2021 and since then, more than 3,000 students have received the scholarship.
The program was challenged by Public Funds Public Schools, a group that works to “ensure that all public funds for education are used to maintain and support public schools,” which argued the program violates the state’s Education Clause, The Center Square reported. Tabit’s ruling said the state’s constitution does not allow the program.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey defended the state’s position in the case, and in a statement announced he plans to appeal the case.
“I am disappointed with this ruling. We will appeal because this is an important law that provides parents greater freedom to choose how they educate their children,” Morrisey said. “Our kids deserve the best educational options—we will fight for our kids and the hard working families of our state to retain this law and uphold its constitutionality.”
Tabit’s office declined TheDCNF’s request for comment.
Parents were set to receive up to $4,298 each in the 2022-2023 school year through the voucher program, with a total of $13 million in state funds being allocated for the Hope Scholarship, according to the West Virginia Metro News.
Public Funds Public Schools did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment. Morrisey referred The Daily Caller News Foundation to his statement when asked to comment.
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