Unconstitutional Blaine amendments have been struck down

It’s been a long time coming, but states are no longer allowed to discriminate against religious schools, at least with regard to funding. Blaine amendments have a long, prejudiced, and thoroughly sordid history.

In other words, fascist zealots move further toward their goal of Christian theocracy, bootlickers applaud.


is there any link between support of public funds to pay for private education and lack of support for public education?

Well in ca we had the whole “voucher” argument for years where people who didn’t want their kids to go to school with their version of “those people” used the excuse that the schools weren’t sufficiently teaching anyone anything and they said the state should pay for people to go to the private school of their choice

And the state did and as a result 2 things happened one is the state law that says you could go to any school you wanted to go to as long as you filled out the form before the current school term ended and the school wasn’t already filled

the other is once people received the vouchers and went to some of the private schoolsand they learned that they weren’t better and in some cases worse than the “hood” schools they original;ly complained about

I want to be the fly on the wall when the Satanic Temple opens a private school and demands their constitutionally-guaranteed state funding for it.

I want to be the school principal when the Satanic Temple opens a private school.

As religious institutions are now able to receive tax moneys, I welcome their full participation in the tax system by also paying taxes.

Well, there is this out:

The court’s majority argued the dissenting justices were “wrong” to say Tuesday’s decision requires Maine to fund religious education, repeating a passage from the 2020 Montana decision: “As we held in Espinoza, 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.’”

So, just stop all funding for private schools. Public schools only!

I’m sure the religious people will be just fine with this…

I heard a story on NPR about this. They mentioned that Maine is the most rural state and many districts don’t even have a high school. Some pay other districts to educate their students and some kids go to private or charter schools with financial assistance from the government.

Still, I think religious schools that want the government money should not be able to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, religion or other classes protected in public schools and should be required to have their curriculum reviewed to make sure it meets state requirements.

I don’t really have an issue with this ruling–government shouldn’t preference religion or “establish” religion, but it shouldn’t discriminate against religion either. Having a blanket provision that you’re going to give parents money for private schools in a few areas where your State has decided not to maintain public schools, and then simply say the money cannot go to a religious private school, seems pretty clearly discriminatory.

Nothing in this ruling precludes Maine from deciding to end the private school program in those locations by creating public school districts. There is also nothing in the ruling that would prohibit some level of reasonable restriction on what type of schools can receive funding, those restrictions simply have to be more thought out and nuanced than “if it’s a religious school that has religious education, it gets no money.”

It should be noted this Maine program is not actually that common even in Maine–this affects a few thousand students. It is a bit of an outlier situation because there are a few parts of Maine where there are no public schools at all.

The Court suggested that Maine could set up a boarding school for the kids who live far from public high schools or offer distance education to them.

Right: there’s a bit about this in the linked article:

What with everybody in the country getting experience with distance learning, this would seem to be non-problem (besides the fact that the fucking supremes are promoting religion in the public sector again.) Live too far away from people to have access to a public school? Plenty of on-line options available already. Just cancel the taxpayer subsidies completely and be done with it.

I think it depends. Are the schools allowed to discriminate on their faculty or their student body based on religion? Are the schools providing a properly accredited secular education along with the religious?

You’re both going to be disappointed. Some fine people will throw a Molotov cocktail through the window and it will never open. The police will investigate (or at least say they did) and find nothing.

“Discriminate”? I thought there is supposed to be a “separation of Church and State”. Okay, so we need to stop “discriminating” with taxes. Having everyone pay taxes but not churches is definitely discriminatory! We should be ashamed.

If church schools are going to receive public support, they need to meet the guidelines of their state in terms of being certified. Right now, they don’t.

I have never heard the term “Blaine amendments” before. I do remember the practice of being compelled to support religious schools referred to as “parochiaid”. And, yes, banning it has been part of our constitution in MI since the '60s

Advocates for a particular religion who are gleeful about the prospect of getting extra feeding at the public trough may not have thought these court decisions through.

“Religious schools are on a winning streak, with a majority of the Supreme Court appearing to be on their side. But they should not get cocky.”

“Most religious people only think of their own schools when looking at these cases. They also need to think about how they would feel if one of their children were in a school run by another religion, because these rulings must apply to all religious schools equally.”

“For example, if you are Catholic, what if the closest school in Maine was a Muslim or evangelical Christian school? How would you want your child treated in that school?”

“At a minimum, a parent must be able to decide whether her child attends religion classes or services as part of the school day. In addition, the state has the right to make sure that the secular education of the children is at least as good as that in public schools. Catholic parents do not want their children taught creationism in science class.”

“On the other hand, if Catholic schools want state money, they should not discriminate against LGBTQ students or children of LGBTQ parents. LGBTQ teachers should be able to live their lives outside the school as they see fit without the threat of firing.”

Hmmm, complications…

My understanding is that the general consensus is that distance learning was really sub-standard as far as education goes, and the students who were subjected to it the longest had the largest learning loss during the pandemic. So not a great model to rely on.

I haven’t read the opinion, but I tend to agree with this. The government should neither favor or disfavor religious institutions. It should as much as possible ignore their religion. If those religious schools educate students to the standards required by the state, then good enough.

The remaining problem, of course, is that if there’s only one school close enough to educate a given non-religious student, that school is religious, and the school forces the student to participate in religious practice, that’s bad. It seems like it’s possible to solve that problem without a blanket ban on religious schools receiving subsidy to educate students, though.