Supreme Court Rules Public Funds Okay For Religious Schools
The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that states offering student scholarships for private schools cannot exclude religious schools from their programs, according to USA Today.
- The ruling was handed down by the court’s conservative majority, with the decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts.
- While the ruling said states cannot exclude religious schools from state-funded scholarship programs, it stopped short of requiring states to fund religious education.
"A state need not subsidize private education. But once a state decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious," Roberts said.
- USA Today wrote that the ruling was “long sought by proponents of school choice and vehemently opposed by teachers' unions, who fear it could drain needed tax dollars from struggling public schools.”
- The case, “brought by three mothers from Montana who sought $500 tuition scholarships funded by a state tax credit program,” was struck down by Montana’s supreme court, citing the separation of church and state.
- The state ultimately chose to deny public funds to secular schools as well.
- The Supreme Court’s liberal justices noted this fact in their dissents, suggesting the discrimination had been solved by ending the program.
"Petitioners may still send their children to a religious school," Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. "There simply are no scholarship funds to be had."
USA Today noted that the Trump administration sided with the parents in the case and that the Tuesday ruling “was another in a long line of Supreme Court decisions upholding religious freedom.”