Home > Uncategorized > ‘Attacking the Very Foundations’ of Church-State Separation, SCOTUS Delivers ‘Seismic Shock’ Ruling on Religious Schools

‘Attacking the Very Foundations’ of Church-State Separation, SCOTUS Delivers ‘Seismic Shock’ Ruling on Religious Schools

July 2, 2020

As most followers of education policy realize, on Monday the Supreme ruled in favor of parochial school parents seeking public funds to underwrite their children’s tuitions. The Montana parents were denied funds set aside in a so called “scholarship program” that is designed to shield affluent taxpayers from paying taxes by allowing them to donate to a state scholarship funds that parents can access to attend the school of their choice. As noted in previous posts, these kinds of laws were crafted by ALEC and adopted in states across the country as a means of instituting backdoor vouchers… and they were successfully passed in many states across the country including my home state of New Hampshire. The laws’ intention’s sound very high minded: they offer a means for philanthropic minded individuals to donate to a tax-deductible scholarship fund that affords a way for disenchanted parents to afford to send their child to a private school that meets the unique needs of their child. The effect, though, is insidious. The funds siphoned off to the scholarships are lost revenue to the state and when the pool is substantially large the legislature can use them to offset the funding THEY should be raising for public education. Worse, not only can the PRIVATE schools can teach religion on the public’s dime, they can exclude children with special needs and their sexual identity. Oh… and not that long ago they could use race as a the basis for discrimination.

Assuming the GOP remains in control of the majority of State legislatures I expect the door to be pushed wide open in the coming legislative sessions as they pass new and improved scholarship legislation pre-written by USDOE and ALEC. Of everything challenging the existence of public education, this decision is among the scariest because even after the COVID 19 challenges are a bad memory this will still be in place and more and more states will have a mechanism in place to provide more “choice” for parents— and who could possibly oppose more “choice”?

Source: ‘Attacking the Very Foundations’ of Church-State Separation, SCOTUS Delivers ‘Seismic Shock’ Ruling on Religious Schools

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