Supreme court rules state’s denial of funding for religious schools violates constitution
The Supreme Court dealt a victory to private school choice advocates in its ruling on a landmark case that opens the floodgates for allowing public dollars to fund religious institutions.
The case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, centered around a school tax credit program in Montana that provided financial incentives for individuals and corporations to donate to private school tuition scholarships. Most of the schools that signed up to participate were religious.
In 2018, the Montana Supreme Court found this in violation of a state constitutional provision barring public dollars for religious schools. The state disbanded the entire program in response, a decision that affected both the religious and secular schools in the program. In a 5-4 ruling that will likely reverberate around the nation, the Supreme Court has reversed the state court’s decision. In this case, plaintiffs and their supporters argued that the state discriminated against religious institutions.