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Breaking: Supreme Court allows voucher program to move forward

School vouchers

In a one-sentence order released today, the state Supreme Court overturned a lower court order blocking the state’s voucher program pending further review and, per an additional ruling as noted on the court docket, agreed to hear the case.

In April, the state Court of Appeals had denied the request by parents who intervened in the school voucher case to delay a stay of the program entered by Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood in February — a request which, if granted, would have effectively allowed that program to move forward while the court considered any such appeal.

Cynthia Perry and Gennell Curry, parents who support the state’s newly-enacted Opportunity Scholarship program, joined the lawsuit challenging its constitutionality with Hobgood’s permission, granted shortly before he halted the program pending a hearing on its merits.

The state did not appeal Hobgood’s preliminary ruling, but Perry and Curry did, contending that their right to “direct the education of their children” would be harmed by the court’s delaying implementation of the voucher program, which state officials had already moved forward with despite the  lawsuits.  At least some of the $400,000 budgeted for administration of the program had already been spent, and more than 4,000 applications for vouchers received.

The court’s actions today mean that the program can move forward in the interim while the justices consider the merits of claims challenging it on the merits.

In a related ruling, the court also dismissed as moot the motion by House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Phil Berger to intervene in the case.

Check back for further developments.

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