Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
The Ohio General Assemby passed a bill establishing the Ohio Pilot Scholarship Program to school vouchers to allow K-12 students to attend private schools. The program provides scholarships to children in kindergarten throught eighth grade within certain school districts to attend private schools. It gives preference to students from low income families.
Susan Tave Zelman was the Superintendent of Public Instruction for Ohio. In 1999, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard the case which was later appealed to the Supreme Court.
Approximately 96% of the children on vouchers attended religious schools. The Court attempted to resolve the question of whether the funds paying tuition at religious schools violated the First Amendment. Since nearly all schools participating in the voucher program were religious school, the parents claimed that there was really no legitimate choice.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Ohio program passed muster under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
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