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U.S. Supreme Court Rules Religious Schools Can Receive Public Funds

Impact unclear for Michigan, which has nation’s most restrictive language

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing religious schools to receive public funds, in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. That 5-4 ruling could lead to more public funding for religious schools nationwide, but it may not directly affect Michigan.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who delivered the majority opinion, wrote “A state need not subsidize private education. But once a state decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

Michigan’s Blaine Amendment, passed in 1970, has the most restrictive anti-aid language in the country. It excludes any nonpublic school, not just religious schools, from receiving public tax dollars.