RALEIGH N.C. -- A North Carolina judge is ordering a stop to the use of taxpayer money to pay for tuition at private or religious schools.Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ruled Thursday that the program is unconstitutional on several levels. Voucher advocates said they will appeal the decision.
Hobgood said the program pays for students to attend schools that are not obliged to meet state curriculum requirements, violating the state constitution's guarantee for students to have an opportunity to a sound basic education. Hobgood said it's also unconstitutional for public funds to go to privately run and managed schools.
The judge said money cannot go to private schools. The state agency managing the funds said money that was planned for distribution earlier this week was stopped.
Parents we spoke with say they would have loved some advanced notice before the ruling.
"I wish they would of went ahead and allowed this program to continue since the kids were already registered," says Dennis Studer, whose children are in 2nd and 3rd grade at private schools.
Studer says he has worked out a way to keep his kids in private school this year, but he isn't certain about next school year.
Voucher advocates do say they plan to appeal the decision.