State Judge Tim Kelley said Friday that the program improperly diverts money allocated through Louisiana's public school funding formula to private schools. He also said it unconstitutionally diverts local tax dollars to private schools.
Kelley ruled in a lawsuit backed by teacher unions and school boards seeking to shut down the voucher program and other changes that would funnel more money away from traditional public schools.
The state education department and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education said the programs were funded and created in line with the constitution.
It was not immediately clear how the ruling would affect more than 4,900 students now enrolled in 117 private schools with taxpayer dollars.
MELINDA DESLATTE,Associated Press