Three groups weigh in against state's voucher program

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Three organizations opposed to Louisiana's private school tuition voucher program are weighing in on the

issue ahead of state Supreme Court arguments next week.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, The Interfaith Alliance Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union

said Friday they filed a friend of the court brief against the program, which uses government money to make private school

tuition available for some students in poorly performing public schools.

The state is appealing a district judge's

ruling that the program unconstitutionally takes money from an education

funding

program meant for public schools. Americans United and the other

groups argue that the program also unconstitutionally uses

public money for religion-based education.

The state defends the program's constitutionality and says it provides parents with needed educational choices.