The Liberty Justice Center filed an amicus brief in Carson v. Makin supporting two Maine families who want to use the state’s student aid program to send their children to private schools. The brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the landmark case which could have a significant impact on increasing education options for families across the country.
The case challenges the student aid program Maine uses to make sure that all school-aged children in the state can receive a free public education. The program pays for some students to attend private schools but excludes tuition payments to faith-based schools.
The brief argues that excluding faith-based schools, which represent two-thirds of all private schools in the U.S., from public funding curtails much needed options for a wide range of children. It notes the Court has already recognized educational choice is a lifeboat for low-income and minority students and demonstrates that choice is also essential for a wider range of students, including those with special physical or intellectual needs, victims of bullying, religious minorities, tribal students, children who learn best in single-sex environments and children of military families.
There is “no one way to school” in this country. When our states embrace the diversity of schools, when they celebrate and empower rather than punish distinct educational institutions, they embrace the best of our country, its heritage and its hope for the future. The pluralism of local schools is as important to our society as pluralism within the press, higher education and the political process.