SCOTUS Hands School Choice Movement Victory, Strikes Down Ban on Taxpayer Funding for Religious Schools

The Supreme Court gave a victory to the school choice movement by striking down a ban on taxpayer funding for religious schhols.

Via Fox News:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a ban on taxpayer funding for religious schools, in a narrow but significant win for the school choice movement.

In the 5-4 ruling, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court essentially backed a Montana tax-credit scholarship program that gave residents up to a $150 credit for donating to private scholarship organizations, helping students pay for their choice of private schools.

The state’s revenue department made a rule banning those tax-credit scholarships from going to religious schools before the state’s supreme court later struck down the entire program.

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“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 wrote in the court’s opinion.

Under the program, a family receiving a scholarship originally could use it at any “qualified education provider,” which the court’s opinion noted means “any private school that meets certain accreditation, testing, and safety requirements.”

The Montana Department of Revenue, citing the state constitution, then changed the definition of “qualified education provider” to exclude those “owned or controlled in whole or in part by any church, religious sect, or denomination.” This was over the objection of the state attorney general.

This is a big win for religious education and the school choice movement and could very well lead to an overall improvement in public education as well as they’re forced to compete more with the private sector.


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