U.S. Supreme Court deciding whether to hear school choice case involving state of Maine
BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The U.S. Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to hear a school choice case involving the state of Maine.
Carson v. Makin is based upon Maine’s tuition assistance program for students who live in towns without a public high school.
Three families represented in the lawsuit are from Orrington, Glenburn, and Palermo.
The high school tuition voucher program covers the cost of students to attend a school of their choice, but only if it does not teach religion.
The Institute for Justice argues that’s unconstitutional.
Last fall, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Maine’s religious exclusion rules.
That ruling came after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in a Montana case seemed to open the door to more public funding for religious schools.
Michael Bindas, the lead attorney on the case, spoke with TV5 about the case’s implications for parents and children.
”In a program likes Maine’s, it’s parents, not the government that decides where a child’s tuition benefit is used. That private and independent choice of parents breaks any connection between church and state, and if parents believe that a school that provides religious institution is best for their child, they should be allowed to make that choice,” said Bindas, Institute for Justice senior attorney.
Bindas says he expects the Supreme Court decision on the case sometime this week.
He says if the case is accepted, an initial hearing date could come in October.
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