Yesterday, in a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Carson v. Makin that the First Amendment’s Free Exercise of Religion Clause requires states to include religious institutions and religious schools in state funding programs. In response, Francisco M. Negrón, Jr., Chief Legal Officer of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), made the following statement:
“While we are not surprised by yesterday’s ruling, especially given recent decisions in Trinity Lutheran and Espinoza, we are disappointed. Public education is a civil right—that’s why public schools, unlike their private counterparts, accept all children no matter their disability, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or citizenship backgrounds.
“The impact of yesterday’s decision may not be immediate. However, if states use the decision to create more voucher programs for private schools, already scarce public dollars would be stretched even further—meaning less funding for the public schools that serve 50 million schoolchildren, or roughly 90 percent of American students in prekindergarten through grade 12.”