SCOTUS To Hear School Choice Case

Published: Monday, January 27, 2020 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, January 27, 2020 - 9:28am

A case that asks whether taxpayers should fund religious education is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Only 18 states including Arizona allow funding private or religious education with taxpayer dollars. The other 32 states may now be affected by a case out of Montana. 

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue centers on a 2015 law passed by the state legislature allowing families who send their children to private or religious school to receive tax credits — paid for by the public.

The state’s Department of Revenue established a rule preventing the implementation of the program and some families who could not get a tax credit sued.

The case reached the Montana Supreme Court, which declared it unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs wrote in their brief to the Supreme Court that a decision in their favor would “remove a major barrier to educational opportunity for children nationwide.”

Religious education advocates are asking the Supreme Court to reinstate the program and to toss out the provision of “no-aid,” meaning funding would be mandated.

Opponents say they fear it would speed up privatization of what they view as the nation’s most important civic institution: America’s public education system. 

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