WASHINGTON, DC — The US Supreme Court is telling states not to discriminate against religious schools ruling that scholarships to religious-based schools can be funded through state tax credits.
It’s not every day that Montana has a major Supreme Court case that has the potential to impact religious schools across the country, but that is what happened on Tuesday.
We should be clear though, the Supreme Court did not say states must fund religious education.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided with conservatives on this 5-4 ruling, wrote, "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."
The case was really about potential changes to the separation of church and state. Montana has a constitutional ban on public aid to religious schools and 38 states have similar bans.
Because of what the high court said on Tuesday it gives conservatives all over the country some room to pass laws to make it easier for parents to afford religious education.
The ruling will not likely impact progressive states though, because most Democrats believe tax dollars and benefits should only go to public schools.
An estimated four million students attend religious schools in our country and you can bet parents in those schools are looking at the Montana ruling closely.