Supreme Court hears case regarding public funding for religious education

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Jan. 22 in a case that could make it easier to use public money to pay for religious schooling in many states.

The case involves a Montana scholarship program for private K–12 education that provided a dollar-for-dollar tax credit to individuals who donate to organizations that provide scholarship money to students in private schools. 

Though the scholarships could be used at both secular and religious schools, almost all the recipients attend religious schools, which make up 70% of all private schools in Montana.

Ultimately, the Montana Supreme Court struck down the entire tax credit program for all private schools, religious and nonreligious alike. 

The state said the tax credit conflicted with a provision in Montana’s constitution that bars state aid to religious schools. Montana is among 37 states with similar “no aid” clauses for religious education.

School choice advocates are asking the Court to revive the scholarship aid program in its entirety. A decision in the case is expected by late June. (AP, TAB)