December 9, 2021 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #2039926
The US supreme court is hearing a case called Carson V Makin, the case is being brought by two families who want to send the kids to religious schools and the State of Maine will pay for private schools but not religious ones. Insteresting how this will play out, could have major ramifications for yeshiva parentsDecember 9, 2021 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #2039982
Won’t have any major ramifications for Yeshivas in places where the government does not pay for private school. This isn’t a case parents asking for religious schooling to be paid for. They are saying that if the government anyway unconditionally pays for private schooling what are the grounds to discriminate against religious school?
In Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue. the Supreme Court already ruled that once a state is any funding private schools it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.December 9, 2021 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #2039987ujmParticipant
It’ll further clarify constitutional law that State’s may fund religious schools. Which will open the door for willing State’s to actually fund religious schools.December 9, 2021 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #2039996jackkParticipant
True, they are saying how can you discriminate against religious schools.
Would the SC agree that the the state should pay for muslim , buddhists and scientology schools?
How about the state-sponsored Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry ?
This is one of the principles of separation of church and state.
In the wedding case decision , the SC ruled that a business is allowed to discriminate based on religion. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Don’t discriminate based on my religion.December 9, 2021 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #2039997
smerel, your words are a little confusing. I think you mean that once a state provides any funding for private schools.December 9, 2021 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #2040005
>>>Would the SC agree that the the state should pay for Muslim , Buddhists and scientology schools?
If private schools are being paid for, yes. The conservatives on SC are not so dumb so as not to realize that possibility.
>>>In the wedding case decision , the SC ruled that a business is allowed to discriminate based on religion
They never made any such ruling. They ruled that a business can not be compelled to service a customer who is asking for them to do something that violates their religion.December 9, 2021 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #2040008
@Jackk, I could not care less if the money went to muslim , buddhists and scientology schools, in fact I find those far less offensive then some of the drivel being rammed in public schools.
FYI Hogwart is in the UK where the money can be used for any schoolDecember 9, 2021 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #2040016
The separation of church and state for us Jews is one of the most important laws on the books as it forbids the state to force on us any religion.December 9, 2021 9:15 pm at 9:15 pm #2040034GadolhadorahParticipant
Case may turn on “standing” given the two schools are not directly being denied funding by the statute although they might be affected by future funding. Facts here are very narrow and relate to state providing vouchers for private schools in northern Maine which is so sparsely populated and travel distances so long that there are no readily available public school options. State legislature doesn’t want to have to monitor beliefs/teaching of religious schools so they limited funding to private but non-religious schools.December 9, 2021 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #2040038jackkParticipant
1) I am waiting for Tucker, Hannity and the rest of the insane fox news hosts to have conniption fits and aneurisms when they find out that their tax dollars are going to fund muslim kids to learn how to hate the great satan America.
2) Why does giving money to buddhists not violate the tax payer’s religion?
“I could not care less if the money went to muslim , buddhists and scientology schools”.
You really don’t care to use your tax dollars to educate a population that will be voting against your religious beliefs?December 9, 2021 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #2040043kollelmanParticipant
Also see Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. ComerDecember 9, 2021 9:20 pm at 9:20 pm #2040048
I think it is a good case. Current court has a good chance to put a good word for non-public and religious schools. The ruling may be more expansive than the question and also make non-public schools more mainstream.December 9, 2021 9:21 pm at 9:21 pm #2040050
> separation of church and state
RebE, the concept here is that government pays for general education and it should not care who provides that education. If government decides that they want all citizens to know calculus, then the government may provide such funds to everyone. In the simplest form, you go take a calculus test, and get paid if you pass, it does not matter whether you learned it in a school, yeshiva, convent, or online.December 9, 2021 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #2040114
@Jackk, its already happening in 90% of colllege campuses so to anwer your question NO it wont bother meDecember 9, 2021 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #2040121charliehallParticipant
“could have major ramifications for yeshiva parents”
There are only two other states with programs like Maine’s: Vermont and Connecticut. There are no yeshivot in Maine or Vermont. But a few yeshivot in Connecticut may benefit.
But there is a hitch. Actually many hitches. The programs require that the students be charged zero tuition. And the programs require that the schools follow state curriculum mandates and state labor law. Their teachers and nonprofessional staff are unionized.
The programs also have geographic limits.
And an even bigger hitch is that the schools participating in these programs have to accept all students. They can’t discriminate on the basis of religion. Nor can they cherry pick to avoid special education students. They have to be co-ed. Would the yeshivot accept non-Jewish students? There are Jewish schools in the UK, Ireland, and India (!) that do. (When I was in Ireland I had a Catholic cab driver who effusively praised the Jewish school where he was sending his daughter!) Would they allow co-ed classes?
The programs actually work pretty well. But it would be a dramatic change for yeshivot.December 9, 2021 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #2040122charliehallParticipant
UJM, your conclusion is not accurate. What the case might do is to require that states that fund non-religious private schools have to fund religious private schools in the same way. See my other comment if it gets approved by the mods on the problems that causes.
At least one state, Virginia, has an absolute ban in its state constitution prohibiting funding of any private schools at all, whether religious or non-religious.December 9, 2021 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #2040137
Gadol > doesn’t want to have to monitor beliefs/teaching of religious schools
why should they? State is funding general education that they can monitor by testing. If the bochrim can’t write or count, the subsidy goes away. As I suggested above for people, you can do this for schools – every school (including public?) is reimbursed after a test. As of now, some Jewish school participate in private-school tests, but do not make test results available even to parents, at least in my experience.December 9, 2021 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm #2040144
charlie > And an even bigger hitch is that the schools participating in these programs have to accept all students. They can’t discriminate on the basis of religion.
This might go back to Supremes similar to Catholics health plan that does not cover contraceptives. But, in a bigger picture, you are right, there will be some yeshivos that will not want to get into secular education. They are not spending much now on teaching math, so there will no benefit in increasing time on “goyishe subjects” and be paid for that (I am using the phrase borrowed from a Rav who was teaching English and History in his Chassidish yeshiva and introduced himself as “goyishe teacher”). So, this approach will strengthen only those schools that combine Jewish education with a decent general one. Or, open a way to separate Jewish schools (in the afternoon?) who may train bochrim and meidelah from multiple schools (possibly only a small percentage whose parents care about it).December 10, 2021 1:24 am at 1:24 am #2040174GadolhadorahParticipant
“why should [state legislature] worry about monitoring teachings of religious schools? State is funding general education that they can monitor by testing”
I think Justice Breyer or Kavanaugh raised a question along the lines of whether a religious school whose core “religious” teaching were racist/white supremacist could receive funding under the Maine program. The Asst. state AG arguing for the statute claimed that it was because the state did not have the ability to to monitor whether a fringe religious school was including such teachings, that it excluded all religious schools and restricted eligibility for funding assistance to private schools.December 10, 2021 7:55 am at 7:55 am #2040199
@CharlieHall. thoses hitches that your list are just the parameters of the Maine program, this case is about the big picture not about the Maine requirements.
PS the VA ban is a ban of ALL private schools getting state monies, religous or not, anyway its a moot point because the Blaine amendments were ruled on this summer in Espinoza V MontanaDecember 10, 2021 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm #2040210akupermaParticipant
The Supreme Court is likely to hold that if states which to subsidize non-religious private school, they have to have subsidize religious schools (at least those that meet the same secular criteria). This has almost no impact on us since there are very few places where there is political support to subsidize private (also called “prep”) school, and that any standards on teaching secular subjects would be hard to meet for the better frum schools (i.e. the ones that offer high quality Torah education).December 10, 2021 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm #2040227
The Yeshiva of Volozhin got closed when the Russian government interfered into the Hebrew education.December 10, 2021 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm #2040241
For the record I am against the efforts to get government funding for private education. It will only cause problems. I do agree with the plaintiffs in this case. If the government is funding private education without policing any of the curriculum then why are the religious schools being excluded?
However from a frum perspective government funding of private schools would be bad news. There will almost certainly be rules attached that will exclude Yeshivas. There will also be rules that will greatly increase costs of education and in places like Lakewood and Monsey where the frum community is the majority they will be the ones bearing the bill anyway through their school tax portion of the property bills. Plus you can be certain that down the line the government will make rules that will cause major problems for Yeshivas.
To put things in perspective the Catholic preschools (who unlike Yeshivas have no issue with accepting non-Catholic children) are fighting AGAINST Biden’s Build Back Better funding of preschool education saying that there is no way they can comply with those regulations. That boils down to the (1)government funding of free preschool but (2) but only if they are aren’t religious. That would put them out of business. (Same principal as this court case)December 10, 2021 1:18 pm at 1:18 pm #2040279ujmParticipant
America can follow the European model of funding private schools, including Yeshivos.December 10, 2021 1:19 pm at 1:19 pm #2040275akupermaParticipant
If a state with a large frum population set up such a voucher system for private schools, we (meaning the frum community) could always set up a separate corporation to provide the “English” education, which could accept aid unless it was tied to conditions we found unacceptable. Heretofore, most private schools have been for the very wealthy, which is why few states subsidize them.December 10, 2021 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #2040304
Gadol > state did not have the ability to to monitor whether a fringe religious school was including such teachings,
The idea is that state pays school or parents for teaching kids skills and knowledge. This can be verified by a test. Presumably, if kids passed the test, it means school spent the money to teach it. Whatever they do during remaining hours of the day is up to them and private funds they want to spend.December 10, 2021 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #2040303
Gadol > for the statute claimed that it was because the state did not have the ability to to monitor whether a fringe religious school was including such teachings
By this logic, we should close most public schools and stop giving state funds to any universities. I closely monitor kids in online schools and they have a lot of fringe views. In one case, an English teacher included a Middle East map with “Palestine” (sic) in green and Israel in white ( that is as almost not there, same color as off-map) and balanced a Palestinian anti-Israel story with an Israeli anti-Israel story. This was a one-off, but teaching US Government starting that Electoral college is in the way of progress before explaining why it was created, is more routine (maybe in half of the cases)December 10, 2021 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #2040305
So, I hope Supremes will clarify that paying just for secular studies has nothing to do whatever else schools are doing with private funds. The next case should be to demand that NOT allowing private schools is unconstitutional: a state has a need to teach three Rs and they should allow any qualified operator to fulfil that need, same way the government buys everything else on private market. If US can buy destroyers and missile defense, it can test math knowledge at a high-school level with an online test.December 10, 2021 2:16 pm at 2:16 pm #2040310
akuperman > any standards on teaching secular subjects would be hard to meet for the better frum schools (i.e. the ones that offer high quality Torah education).
a fair point. There are different needs. I presume that if some of parents in these schools would like to teach their kids professions, even a minority, they can organize such a school. If traditional schools will cooperate a little, then such schools can exist as separate entity or as an option in the school.December 10, 2021 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm #2040314
smerel > However from a frum perspective government funding of private schools would be bad news. There will almost certainly be rules attached that will exclude Yeshivas.
For the majority of Jewish people, who want some combination of Jewish and general education, the current system is totally unmanageable. It makes no sense to lose $10K/child to send him to a totally private school. So, it is either sacrificing quality in one of those areas, or a great financial burden that causes parents to be at work full day and stressed on shabbos. For many, other attractive options cause people move to non-Jewish suburbs, etc.
If you prefer to keep your schools as is, then you can keep them. Or, more likely, take government money for minimal secular education, equivalent to bad public schools. Ideally, government should pay at different tiers depending what your school wants.December 10, 2021 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #2040317
Volozhin example is something to think about, for sure, but differences are too stark: we are talking to an only Yeshiva, forced by a hostile government to introduce Russian classes, informers, etc – totally breaking educational process. Rav Salanter was offered a job of heading a system of Russian schools and he refused (after a lot of consideration, thinking that he’ll make it less painful).December 10, 2021 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm #2040328
The Chasam Sofer stood up against the maskilim and was able to protect the yeshivas. He believed that we cannot sit by and learn when they are in danger. Rav Moshe’s psak of accommodating is tailored towards his audience of Lita who were influenced there.June 21, 2022 3:42 pm at 3:42 pm #2098934
Supreme court just ruled 6-3 against MaineJune 21, 2022 6:21 pm at 6:21 pm #2099017
The Volozhin example above reminding us of the separation of church and state should be kept in mind.
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