'Religious instruction' a bridge too far for tuition assistance

Friday, February 19, 2021
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

Teacher teaching BibleSome parents in Maine are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case where the state is refusing to provide student aid because they are sending their daughter to a religious school that provides religious instruction.

Maine provides tuition assistance for high school students families that live in areas without a public secondary school. Two families in that situation are suing because they have been denied assistance on the grounds the schools must be "nonsectarian."

Institute for Justice attorney Michael Bindas explains that the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them.

"Basically, the court said 'We know Maine can't discriminate because schools are religious, but we think it's okay for Maine to discriminate if schools do religious things' – and that's just an absurd distinction," the attorney says.

Bindas argues that by singling out religion – and only religion – for exclusion from the tuition assistance program, the state is violating the U.S. Constitution.

Bindas

"Parents deserve the right to choose the school that is best for their children, whether it's a school that focuses on STEM instruction, offers language immersion, or provides robust instruction in the arts," he states in a press release. "Maine correctly allows parents to choose such schools – or virtually any other school they think will best serve their kids. But the state flatly bans parents from choosing schools that offer religious instruction. That is unconstitutional."

The attorney says the lower courts have been split on whether a state can exclude schools from student-aid programs if they provide religious instruction.

"Only the U. S. Supreme Court can resolve that split among the lower courts," he tells One News Now. "And so we're hopeful, given this latest opportunity to take on this issue and resolve it once and for all, that the court will do so."

Based on prior decisions, Bindas remains confident the high court will decide in their favor if it takes the case.

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWS BRIEF

FEATURED PODCAST

VOTE IN OUR POLL

When will the left-wing media end its blatant bias and hypocrisy? (Choose up to two answers)

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

House Dems ignore Christian concerns, pass Equality Act
US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia
House to vote on virus bill; arbiter says wage hike a no-go
Conservatives gather in Orlando for CPAC conference
St. Louis prosecutor seeks to take back McCloskey case
Explosion strikes Israeli-owned ship in Mideast amid tension

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Website tracks which colleges embrace training in critical race theory
Obama comes out of the woodwork, touts reparations for blacks
The inequality of the 'Equality Act'
Dear woke Asians: Stop blaming whitey
Ted Cruz: Criminals, murderers, rapists entering on Biden's most radical immigration plan proposed in history

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Harvard logic: Let's invite failed UN leader to commencement

WHO leader TedrosDespite evidence he winked at China’s deadly coronavirus cover-up when the virus was spreading around the world, the leader of the World Health Organization is set to address Harvard graduates at their May commencement.