The Kentucky legislature enacted a voucher law limited to urban districts. Rural districts did not want vouchers.

Today that law was rejected by the state’s highest court.

First, the law was limited to only a few districts.

But most important:

The circuit court also held that the EOA Act violates Section 184 of the Kentucky Constitution which provides that “no sum shall be raised or collected for education other than in common schools until the question of taxation is submitted to the legal voters.” Applying the plain language of this section, the income tax credit raises money for nonpublic education and its characterization as a tax credit rather than an appropriation is immaterial. The circuit court cited Commonwealth v. O’Harrah, 262 S.W.2d 385, 389 (Ky. 1953), for the long-standing principle that “[i]n appraising the validity of the statute we must look through the form of the statute to the substance of what it does.” Every dollar raised under the EOA program to fund the AGOs is raised by tax credits which diminish the tax revenue received to defray the necessary expenses of government…

Finally, the circuit court concluded that the factual record necessary to consideration of the constitutional issues raised by Sections 3 and 171 of the Kentucky Constitution was not yet developed. Sections 3 and 171 prohibit payment of public money “to any man or set of men, except in consideration of public services,” and require principles of public purpose, uniformity, and equality in levying taxes. Likewise, the court deemed the record is underdeveloped on the issues pertaining to Sections 183 and 186 of the Kentucky Constitution, which require the Kentucky General Assembly to provide for “an efficient system of common schools” that is adequately and equitably funded, and that “[a]ll funds accruing to the school fund shall be used for the maintenance of the public schools of the Commonwealth, and for no other purpose.” Because the record contains no discovery, depositions, or expert testimony to establish whether the EOA Act is consistent with these constitutional requirements, the court denied summary judgment on these issues.