Businesses play an important role in the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights, inter alia, by contributing to the creation of employment opportunities and, through private investment, to development. However, the Committee has been regularly presented with situations in which, as a result of states' failure to ensure compliance with internationally recognised human rights under their jurisdiction, corporate activities negatively affected economic, social and cultural rights.
The Supreme Court of Louisiana held that Louisiana’s ‘Minimum Foundation Program’, which allocates educational funding to schools, could not be used to provide funding to privates schools by way of a voucher programme. It ruled that to do so violated article VIII, section 13 of the Louisiana Constitution, which establishes how monies are to be allocated to public schools based on a formula adopted by the state board of education.
In this decision, the Florida Supreme Court held that a voucher program providing public funds to students to obtain private education failed to comply with article IX, section 1 of the Florida Constitution, which requires the state government to make adequate provision for education through a uniform system of free public schools. This decision confirms Florida’s constitutional obligation to provide high quality, free public education – a duty that cannot be discharged by funding unregulated private schools through a voucher or scholarship program.