The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled Thursday afternoon that North Carolina can use public tax dollars to help children attend private and religious schools. The 4-3 decision reverses a ruling last summer by Judge Robert Hobgood in the state's Superior Court.

Hobgood ruled that the program ran afoul of requirements that the state provide a sound basic education to all students. WRAL TV reports that Hobgood found the voucher program problematic because private schools can discriminate in their admissions and don't have the same curriculum and teacher certification standards as public schools.

Proponents of vouchers say they give struggling students and students in failing schools a chance to move to a private school that meets their needs.

Opponents say that the program takes money from public schools and allows public funds to go to schools that may teach based on a religious curriculum.

The current voucher program offers up to $4,200 for low-income families who qualify.

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