TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Voters have refused to repeal Florida's ban on public funding for churches and other religious organizations, including parochial schools.
The vote for Amendment 8 was 44 percent in favor with most ballots counted Tuesday. All proposed state constitutional amendments require 60 percent.
Besides the repeal, the amendment would have prohibited state and local governments from barring people from participating in public programs if they choose to receive those services through religious organizations.
Supporters said the amendment offered by the Republican-led Legislature would have advanced religious freedom. Opponents, including the state's teachers union, said it would have done the opposite.
They also argued it would lift a potential legal barrier to new taxpayer-supported voucher programs for private schools.