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Supreme Court battle over school choice may boost religious freedom

Supreme Court battle over school choice may boost religious freedom

by Richard Wolf, USA TODAY  |  Published on January 22, 2020

WASHINGTON – Three moms from Montana will be at the Supreme Court on Wednesday where they’ll get a chance to make history on religious school choice.

What they’re fighting over may seem small: a discontinued state program that offered $150 tax credits to help spur $500 tuition scholarships. But the stakes are high for both sides in the national debate over public aid for religious schools.

Conservative groups flooded the high court with arguments supporting the Montana parents’ cause. Having long sought legislative backing for voucher and tax credit programs, they see the case as a judicial promised land.

On the other side are teachers unions and civil rights groups worried that if the floodgates open for religious school funding, public schools will suffer. A ruling for the Montana moms, they say, would violate the Constitution’s principle of separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, they say, would be on their side.

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