NCEA Applauds the Supreme Court’s Ruling to Recognize the Need for Inclusion of Faith-Based Schools in Parent Choice Programs

Supreme Court rules that discrimination based on religious status violates the First Amendment.

Arlington, VA – The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) welcomes the June 30 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of the petitioners in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, who challenged the invalidation of a tax credit scholarship program by the Montana Supreme Court because of the potential for inclusion of families wishing to send their children to religiously-affiliated schools.

The Court’s majority opinion affirmatively stated that state governments are not permitted to "create a greater separation of church and State than is already ensured under the Establishment Clause." It is a powerful and meaningful rebuttal against the use of Blaine Amendments, like the one used by the Montana Supreme Court, to make arbitrary and discriminatory exclusions of faith-based institutions.

The decision is a substantial victory for all American families which affirms putting students’ needs first by providing equitable choice and access to all types of schools. NCEA strongly believes that expanding parent choice in equitably accessing all types of schools is an instrumental part of fostering a diverse, pluralistic and inclusive society.

"That the Supreme Court has protected the right for families to use their taxpayer funds to choose the school that best matches their values and educational goals is a big win for everyone," said Kathy Mears, NCEA Interim President/CEO. "Catholic schools have a rich history of serving economically disadvantaged and ethnic minority communities, and education choice programs tend to serve these same students."

NCEA and its Catholic school members recognize that this decision also is a reminder of the need to be effective stewards of the lives entrusted to our care and the resources given to Catholic school communities, and joins today in solidarity with the children, families and communities who will benefit from this historic ruling.

For more information, visit www.NCEA.org and connect with NCEA on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NCEA strengthens Catholic school communities by providing professional development, formation, leadership and advocacy.