Religious Schools Not Entitled To Voucher Aid, Says Court

A federal appeals court ruled in October that Maine education officials may\n exclude private religious schools from a tuition program.

A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 28-page\n decision in Eulitt v. Maine concluding that the state had legitimate “interests\n in concentrating limited state funds on its goal of providing secular education,\n avoiding entanglement, and allaying concerns about accountability that undoubtedly\n would accompany state oversight of parochial schools’ curricula and policies.”

The Maine law provides tuition for students in districts that do not have\n their own public schools. But the law bars school districts from paying tuition\n to any private school. Parents in Minot County who chose to send their children\n to a Catholic school sued the state.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a friend-of-the-court\n brief with the 1st Circuit, urging the judges to reject the parents’ lawsuit.

“Maine’s decision not to extend tuition funding to religious\n schools does not…require residents to forgo religious convictions in\n order to receive the benefit offered by the state – a secular education,” the\n 1st Circuit ruled in its Oct. 22 decision.