A blow to church school vouchers in Montana | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A blow to church school vouchers in Montana

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 12:09 PM

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that the state's constitution makes illegal voucher payments for students to attend religious-oriented public schools. It's an issue spreading nationwide and likely headed to a federal court test.

The case applied to a law that gives a tax credit for contributions to a nonprofit organization that then provides tuition assistance payments to private schools. The voucher program effectively lets a taxpayer bypass the usual tax collection and state distributionj process and send it direct to a private school. A move to establish such a program in Arkansas has been underway for several years. The Montana court ruled 5-2 that this amounted to unconstitutional indirect state support of church schools.

The Montana Constitution explicitly prohibits direct or indirect aid to church schools. The Arkansas Constitution carries some language that suggests an aversion to spending in support of religion, but no such specific provision.

Arkansas already provides full minimum foundation education funding for students with disabilities to attend private schools in Arkansas, nearly all of them run by religious organizations. The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed payment of public dollars for education in private schools.

Losers in the Montana case say the decision amounts to religious discrimination and plan a federal court appeal. 

Tags: , , ,


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017


Most Recent Comments


© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation