School Choice and State Constitutions

by Dave Myslinski

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Whenever school choice legislation is considered, the stakes are enormous. Children, parents, teachers and taxpayers all stand to benefit dramatically from well-designed programs.

That’s why it is so important for all school choice legislation to be very carefully crafted, starting with an eye toward its constitutionality under relevant state constitutional provisions. Not only is this sound and responsible drafting, it also assures that when a choice program is enacted and then challenged in court it has the greatest likelihood of being upheld.

This guide to the key constitutional provisions of all 50 states is designed to provide a convenient reference for legislators and advocates. As the reader will see, school choice programs are constitutional in nearly every state. The key is to design the right kind of program, and this guide is meant to help legislators do just that. Any state summary in this report should be a starting point only. We encourage legislators to obtain copies of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s model legislation listed in this guide and to contact the Institute for Justice for the more in-depth analysis that will be necessary in crafting specific legislation.

We look forward to working with you to secure the future of school choice in your state.

William H. Mellor
President and General Counsel, Institute for Justice

David J. Myslinski
Director, Education Task Force, American Legislative Exchange Council

School Choice and State Constitutions by ALEC_States