A few blog posts worth checking out about the FL voucher decision:
Over at A Constrained Vision, Katie makes the point that other FL private-choice programs are in jeopardy. That’s a no-brainer given the wording of the case (pdf). However she also asks what this might mean for public charter schools. That’s a good question. Given the decision they might have a problem, too, some observers say, depending on what “uniform” means.
At Dan Gerstein’s new blog Dangerous Thoughts he questions the logic of the decision and also raises the charter question. Gerstein has a proclivity to say interesting and provocative things so this blog should be an interesting read. In fact, in terms of his ability to shake things up — and they do need some shaking — Gerstein with a blog is like a chimp on acid with a loaded shotgun so look for good stuff from there going forward.
At Boardbuzz they’re beside themselves with joy and are lathering up with various links about the case to celebrate.
Three more thoughts: First, the decision could end up being the school voucher parallel of Roe, meaning a decision where one can agree with the larger point (a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions or the need to have common accountability standards for schools) and still think the logic of the decision itself was pretty tortuous.
Second, supporters of public school choice, public charters, and more pluralism in the provision of public education need to get in front of this “uniform” issue and make the case about why multiple public options and uniformity are not at odds. Otherwise, we’re back to trying to make a one best system work.
Finally, the Blaine Amendment question is an interesting free exercise one and despite the apparent signal from the SCOTUS in Davey v. Locke (2004) that it didn’t want free exercise cases, the prevalence of these Blaine Amendments around the country and their intersection with the school choice debate means it’s an issue that needs to be settled. But the FL decision seemingly took that issue out of play there by focusing on the “uniformity” issue.