Supreme Court Case Will Test Funding Restrictions on Religious Schools

children in a classroom

On January 22, 2020 one of the most important school choice cases of the past half century will be argued before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).   Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue will decide if states may discriminate against religious options in generally available scholarship programs.  (You can read more about the case here.)  The USCCB signed onto an Amicus brief in the case expressing support Religious Options in School Choice programs.  The case has huge implications for parental school choice programs across the country.

While a positive outcome by SCOTUS is unlikely to rule Blaine Amendments unconstitutional nationwide, it could declare that states cannot rely on “Blaines” to deny religious school participation in programs of indirect aide which is currently the case.   Such a ruling on Montana’s case will favorably help in addressing the California law that forces religiously oriented preschools to relinquish their religious identity as a condition of participation in the CSPP that provides benefits to privately operated preschools with secular orientations.

To demonstrate how important this case is to parents and their children nationwide, the Institute for Justice (IJ), which is arguing the case, is creating a 30' photo mosaic banner featuring thousands of the faces of educational choice across the country. To participate, schools, parents or organizations can simply send headshots to the Institute.  Photos can be taken with a phone, a yearbook photo, etc. Their names will not be listed nor made public.

Photos can be submitted in whatever form is easiest including uploading to IJ's Dropbox: HERE or email to  Schools sure ensure they have the proper consent of participants and their parents.

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Learn More About Religious Liberty

"At the very heart of human freedom is the right to religious freedom, since it deals with man’s most fundamental relationship: his relationship with God." - Pope John Paul II, Address to Diplomats, January 2005

Religious Liberty at USCCB