July 1, 2020 1:41 am at 1:41 am #1878276JosephParticipant
Today the United States Supreme Court in its historic Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue decision has, Baruch Hashem, overturned the discriminatory, anti-religious, Blaine Amendment found in 37 states, including those in New York and New Jersey. These notorious amendments found in those state constitutions prohibited state funding being made to religious schools, even for non-religious schooling that the state made available to other private schools that aren’t associated with any religion. These amendments were overtly placed in state constitutions in the late 1800s in an anti-Catholic and anti-religious bigotry campaign and endured as part of state laws — until today.
As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning these egregious amendments, states will now be able to provide funding to religious schools for their secular studies by simple legislation or regulatory action without requiring an arduous procedure to repeal their Blaine Amendment from the state constitution.
Furthermore, where a state already offers funding for private schools, it is now required to offer equal funding to religious schools for their non-religious education.July 1, 2020 8:56 am at 8:56 am #1878395akupermaParticipant
However there is no requirement, at least under Federal law, to fund private schools. Furthermore, most non-sectarian private schools are “prep” schools which by definition are not in need of public funds. It is surprising that the four Democrat judges all supported the Blaine amendment, considering that in the past it was the Democrats supporting ethnic and religious minorities, and Republicans supporting the Blaine amendment. The change in the Democratic position is bad for yeshivos, since in states with a Democratic majority, the legislature is unlikely for fund any non-public schools, which is still their option. If the refuse to fund the private schools for rich kids, they can also refuse to fund the religious schools serving poor kids.July 1, 2020 9:42 am at 9:42 am #1878406JosephParticipant
There’s a strong argument for pubic funding of private schools in order to offer opportunities to poor families, most notably blacks and Hispanics, to have their children educated in a school of their choice where the public schools perform very poorly, as is often the case in inner cities, and private schools can offer these poor minority children a much better education that can only be achieved with public funding.
Some states have already taken this approach. Other states, including New York, already fund charter schools which itself is a quasi-private school. There’s a legal argument to be made that if the state is funding charter schools it may be obligated to offer equal funding to other private schools, including religious schools (for their secular education), now that the Blaine Amendments have been overturned.July 1, 2020 9:49 am at 9:49 am #1878409GadolhadorahParticipant
Akuperma’s legal and political analysis is entirely correct. In states such as NY and NJ, the wording of the decision provides a very clear roadmap for the Democratic legislative majorities to limit funding for religious schools only to certain narrow areas such as security and compliance with health and safety regulations. This is especially true in a period where public school budgets will have to be cut back to reflect loss of tax revenues from the pandemic. One positive is that Dept of Education guidelines under DeVos are focused on allowing special funds allocated by Congress to deal with Pandemic issues to go equally to private and religious school students.July 1, 2020 11:32 am at 11:32 am #1878418anonymous JewParticipant
Joseph, do you ever read secular news sources? NY will never fund school choice . The Democratic party in New York has fought charter schools ( school choice) for years . The teachers union hates the competition and funnels millions of dollars to Democratic officeholders to stop creation of new charters. Charters select students via lotteries ( not cherry picked as alleged by the union) , don’t tolerate disruptive students and instill high expectations in their students. It’s not unusual for poor black kids in ghetto school buildings to have kids in tge charter at or above their age level in math and reading while kids in the public school portion of the building can barely read or write.July 1, 2020 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm #1878469anonymous JewParticipant
Also, technically speaking charters are public schools, not private schools. That’s why the per child public funding follows the child to the charter.
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