Weather forecasts have prompted the N.C. Supreme Court to postpone arguments in the case challenging the North Carolina school voucher program for another week.
The justices set Feb. 24 as the date for arguments in a lawsuit being watched by educators across the state and nation.
In August, Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ruled that a 2013 law to use public money for tuition at private and religious schools violates the North Carolina constitution.
Critics contend that the program could route public dollars to religious or faith-based private schools that have the option of excluding children for discriminatory reasons.
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They also contend that vouchers go to schools that are not accountable to the public, saying the program adopted by legislators funds schools that need not “employ qualified teachers nor offer students anything that is recognizable as education.”
Attorneys representing the state argue that the voucher program was not interested in routing the money to schools that are “carbon copies” of what exists across the state.
They bat back contentions that the program supports discriminatory practices, arguing that nothing in the law being challenged supports or targets any faith.
Some students have benefited from the program. The court ruling in 2014 declaring the program unconstitutional came after 216 families had enrolled nearly 1,200 students in private schools after being accepted for the voucher program.
So far, more than $4.2 million has been paid for the families.
The deadline for families to submit scholarship applications for the next academic year is March 1.