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Mired in the
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Curious to see where this goes.



The Supreme Court is gearing up to decide next term whether states can ban students from using student-aid programs to attend religious institutions – an education dispute that could have major ramifications for the school choice movement.

The justices announced at the end of last month's session that they will take up the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue -- which concerns whether states can ban student-aid programs that allow families to choose religious schools for their children. In December 2018, the Montana Supreme Court struck down a tax-credit scholarship program in the state, saying the program violated the state constitution’s “No-Aid clause” barring government money for religious schools because it had allowed students to use the money for that purpose.

“Every parent should have the right to choose where they send their kids to school,” Kendra Espinoza, one of the plaintiffs challenging the Montana decision, told Fox News.

Others see the case as an assault on the separation of church and state.

“The decision by the court to review the Montana case signals that the majority may be gunning for the strong provisions in most state constitutions that bar public school funds from going to religion or religious schools,” the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a liberal advocacy group, said in a June 28 statement.

Government money going to religious schools doesn’t necessarily violate the First Amendment, but appeals courts are split on whether excluding such schools from programs like Montana’s violates religious freedom.

The tax-credit scholarship program, passed in May 2015, gave Montanans up to a $150 credit for donating to private scholarship organizations, which helped students pay for their choice of private schools.

It’s similar to many programs across the U.S., and other states have proposed tax-credit scholarship programs but not passed them due to confusion about their legality.

FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott says the Supreme Court should leave decisions on these programs to state courts.

“I think this case involves interference with state rights,” he told Fox News. “States can adopt constitutional protections without federal interference.”

Espinoza said she enrolled her daughters in a private Christian school because she wanted a values-based education that would challenge them academically, but she has trouble paying for tuition and relies on scholarships. She planned to use Montana’s tax-credit scholarship program.

“I’ve been working two and three jobs just to make ends meet,” she said. “There was a question of whether I could afford it.”

But the Montana Department of Revenue said providing tax credits for donations that later help pay tuition at private schools amounts to indirect funding of religious education by the state, in violation of the “No-Aid clause” – also known as a Blaine Amendment. It made a rule preventing Espinoza or other religious school families from receiving the scholarships.

Espinoza and the libertarian Institute for Justice sued the department over that rule in December 2015, but the Montana Supreme Court invalidated the entire program last year. Espinoza’s lawyers say the program was voided simply because it afforded a religious option, and the U.S. Supreme Court should restore what the Montana legislature passed.

“The federal Constitution prohibits that kind of animus toward religion and the fact that animus is codified in the Montana Constitution in the Blaine Amendment only makes things that much worse,” Institute for Justice senior attorney Michael Bindas said.

Blaine Amendments originated in the 1870s when, as Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a 2000 case, “it was an open secret that ‘sectarian’ was code for ‘Catholic.’” Thirty-seven states have Blaine Amendments today, but Bindas calls them, “vestiges of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry.”

Espinoza’s lawyers also cite Trinity Lutheran, a Supreme Court case from 2017 that ruled Missouri couldn’t deny a church a grant to resurface its playground simply because it was a church.

But Elliott said Blaine Amendments don’t mention a specific religion and have operated without bias.

“No funding of religious education was something states decided early on because they didn’t want to have a religiously segregated school system,” he said. “Public schools are open regardless of religious background. That’s not always the case with private schools.”

If the justices reverse Montana’s decision, it could open the door to more scholarship and voucher programs across the U.S.

“This case has the potential to remove Blaine Amendments as a barrier to school choice throughout the country,” Bindas said.



https://www.foxnews.com/politi...ligious-freedom-case
 
Posts: 4776 | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:

Blaine Amendments originated in the 1870s when, as Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a 2000 case, “it was an open secret that ‘sectarian’ was code for ‘Catholic.’” Thirty-seven states have Blaine Amendments today, but Bindas calls them, “vestiges of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry.”

“This case has the potential to remove Blaine Amendments as a barrier to school choice throughout the country,” Bindas said.

Good news!



"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
-- Justice Janice Rogers Brown

"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
-rduckwor
 
Posts: 16824 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
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Good, anything that reduces the teachers unions and education departments total control of the tax dollars we pay to educate our children in this country the better.



"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 13957 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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we wouldn't need this case if the feds an government in general got out of education

you have a kid - send it wherever you want, you're paying for it

can't afford to send a kid to school, then you have two choices - home school or don't have the kid



Participating in a gun buy back program because you think criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbor has too many kids

"I'm only myself when I have a guitar in my hands." - George Harrison


 
Posts: 48656 | Location: Arizona | Registered: January 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by nhtagmember:
we wouldn't need this case if the feds an government in general got out of education

you have a kid - send it wherever you want, you're paying for it

can't afford to send a kid to school, then you have two choices - home school or don't have the kid
While I tend to agree, and we have paid to send our kids where we want (in addition to paying the school taxes), I believe there is a rational basis behind public education. If little Johnny and little Janey are not educated, not only will they be disadvantaged, so will society. More kids growing up uneducated means more drag on society. The reasoning makes sense.

The problem is that in many cases, a kid with a government education may be worse off rather than better off. It didn’t used to be that way, but here we are. I could get behind a voucher system where the parents get to choose where their kids go and provide the voucher to the school. Some schools may accept it as payment in full, others may charge a premium. If the government schools can’t get by with the income from the vouchers they get, they can close. I can’t imagine it would ever fly, but it would seem likely to result in a lot better education choices for everyone...
 
Posts: 4327 | Registered: February 23, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There should only be military schools, and everyone has to go, no options.



"Ninja kick the damn rabbit"
 
Posts: 4159 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: October 11, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by SevenPlusOne:
There should only be military schools, and everyone has to go, no options.

Sounds a bit like socialism or communism to me. Although I served I think it should be a choice whether people want to serve or not or to attend a military school or not.
 
Posts: 2837 | Location: Friendswood Texas | Registered: August 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mrvmax:
quote:
Originally posted by SevenPlusOne:
There should only be military schools, and everyone has to go, no options.

Sounds a bit like socialism or communism to me. Although I served I think it should be a choice whether people want to serve or not or to attend a military school or not.

It's more about the children being treated with utter contempt at all times, so they can realize the insignificance of their existence.



"Ninja kick the damn rabbit"
 
Posts: 4159 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: October 11, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The teachers unions have destroyed the public schools. Teachers are never fired. Tenure is everything. What other industry or business never gets rid of under performing employees? It stands to reason that a certain percentage of teachers should be replaced every year. But for some reason teachers are considered untouchable. Ridiculous.
 
Posts: 500 | Registered: August 25, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by kramden:
The teachers unions have destroyed the public schools. Teachers are never fired. Tenure is everything. What other industry or business never gets rid of under performing employees? It stands to reason that a certain percentage of teachers should be replaced every year. But for some reason teachers are considered untouchable. Ridiculous.


I really feel for you all that live in areas where this is the norm.

Tenure does not prevent a school from terminating a teacher. There are just a few more steps in the process.

What percentage, in your opinion, should be replaced every year? I was on our school board for 3 years, when the time rolled around to discuss renewing contracts, performance was always discussed. If the teacher wasn’t performing, they were placed on a performance improvement plan, as would happen (or should, IMO) in the corporate world. And yes, we did have to terminate a handful of teachers who were tenured.

I think educators get blamed for things that, frankly, are out of their control. At some point, parents have to shoulder some responsibility. When select sports (just one example, very prevalent in our area) take priority over education, the teacher (and school in general) can’t do a thing about it. My wife has been teaching for 20 years now and absentee parents is one of the biggest issues she deals with. They won’t show up to conferences, don’t respond to any communication until a retention notice comes, then they are scrambling to come up with solutions. If they dealt with the issue when my wife first started trying to let them know, things would turn out much better.


Just my opinion from what I’ve seen locally.
 
Posts: 1852 | Location: St. Louis | Registered: January 28, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by nhtagmember:
we wouldn't need this case if the feds an government in general got out of education
You have a kid - send it wherever you want, you're paying for it
Can't afford to send a kid to school, then you have two choices - home school or don't have the kid

Exactly right, nhtagmember.
Education is too important to turn over to government. Education is the primary responsibility of parents.

The entire concept of 'public education' is a socialist system. Gradually, over the course of 100 years, it has helped take this country down a socialist path.



"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
-- Justice Janice Rogers Brown

"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
-rduckwor
 
Posts: 16824 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
bigger government
= smaller citizen
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quote:
The entire concept of 'public education' is a socialist system. Gradually, over the course of 100 years, it has helped take this country down a socialist path


If a town decides that they need a school and they decide to use part of the taxes that run the town, to pay a teacher to teach the children, I fail to see how this is socialism.

A social compact is NOT the same as using force to disperse the means of production or your own personal life.

It's probably more accurate that literal Socialists, and leftists, are running amok in the system and producing students that are warming to the ideas of that parasitical system.

/opinion




“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.”—H.L. Mencken
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 20, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If a town decides that they need a school and they decide to use part of the taxes that run the town, to pay a teacher to teach the children, I fail to see how this is socialism.

A social compact is NOT the same as using force to disperse the means of production or your own personal life.

It is the use of force "to disperse the means of production or your own personal life."
That's exactly what it is. Do you have a choice whether or not to pay the taxes?
Oh, you may say, I have to pay the taxes but I can still send my kid to a private or parochial school if I want. But is that really an option for most parents when the taxes keep going up?
Can they afford to pay BOTH the taxes AND the tuition? Most cannot.

I have served on both public and private/parochial boards of education. I've watched closely what happens when tax increases hit parents. They have to pay the taxes but they don't have to pay the tuition. Guess what happens next? Private/parochial schools close their doors because parents can't afford to pay.
One tax increase at a time, little by little, people are forced to pay the increasing government school taxes and also pushed into the government schools. They really have no choice.



"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
-- Justice Janice Rogers Brown

"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
-rduckwor
 
Posts: 16824 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Political Cynic
Picture of nhtagmember
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quote:
Originally posted by Veeper:
quote:
The entire concept of 'public education' is a socialist system. Gradually, over the course of 100 years, it has helped take this country down a socialist path


If a town decides that they need a school and they decide to use part of the taxes that run the town, to pay a teacher to teach the children, I fail to see how this is socialism.

A social compact is NOT the same as using force to disperse the means of production or your own personal life.

It's probably more accurate that literal Socialists, and leftists, are running amok in the system and producing students that are warming to the ideas of that parasitical system.

/opinion


however only the people that send kids to the school should pay for it

if you're single or have no kids, or any kids that ever went to the school then you shouldn't have to pay anything in taxes

if you have kids and want to send them to a private school, thats your choice and you should pay for it

the town I lived in was held hostage by the school board and the teachers to the point where property taxes quadrupled in a period of about 10 years to pay for a school system that was mediocre at best and downright fraudulent at worst...constant complaints about overcrowded classes led to the construction of a $53 million school which drove the budget to $25 million a year

and enrollments declined so half of the assets in this technological Taj Mahal were never actually ever used, or they were essentially abandoned

if you want to destroy a small town, get a school board involved in the local politics and you can kiss it goodbye



Participating in a gun buy back program because you think criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbor has too many kids

"I'm only myself when I have a guitar in my hands." - George Harrison


 
Posts: 48656 | Location: Arizona | Registered: January 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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