WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled that religious schools can’t be excluded from a Maine program that offers tuition aid for private education.
The Republican-appointed justices stuck together and ruled 6-3.
"A neutral benefit program in which public funds flow to religious organizations through the independent choices of private benefit recipients does not offend the Establishment Clause," Chief Justice John Roberts said in the court's written opinion.
The decision could have a wider impact than just Maine. It could ease religious organizations’ access to taxpayer money.
The most immediate effect of the court’s decision beyond Maine will be next door in Vermont, which has a similar program. But Tuesday's outcome also could fuel a renewed push for school choice programs in some of the 18 states that so far have not directed taxpayer money to private, religious education.