Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision (7-2) allowed the State of Missouri to pave a playground at a private school, but not much else.
Here’s a take on the decision from the N.E.A.
Friends – busy news day, but wanted to share NEA’s statement on an important SCOTUS decision today on the Trinity Lutheran case, which we were watching closely as it addressed the use of public funding for religious institutions. Clearly we had concerns about how the decision could impact state laws when it came to voucher programs. Ultimately, as you can see below in the statement we just released, the Court’s ruling was overall positive from our vantage point. It was narrow in focus, so it didn’t offer broad interpretation that any state prohibition on voucher funding is unconstitutional. If you have questions, please let us know if you have any additional questions or needs.
The topline message:
· This was a setback for those who were hoping for a road to require states to take public school dollars to give to private and religious schools. It was so narrowly written – to cover resurfacing playgrounds – that it left intact a state’s ability to interpret what separation of church and state means in that state and left intact state constitutional provisions that prevent the diversion of public school funding to private religious schools.
· That means voucher proponents will continue to face both significant public policy and substantial legal obstacles to any effort to expand school voucher programs.
· This is good outcome for the 90% of American students who attend public schools.