In the midst of holding our breath for the U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding Roe v. Wade, the nation has another reason to celebrate. This week, SCOTUS released a decision that will propel us forward in the fight for school choice.
The case, Carson v. Makin, was brought to the Supreme Court after a family in Maine was denied benefits from the state’s tuition assistance program because their school of choice was religious. The tuition assistance program was established for parents and students whose school district does not operate a secondary school of their own. Under the program, parents are able to choose the public or private school they would like their child to attend, and the school district then sends payments to that school to help mitigate the cost of tuition. That school choice, however, could not include a Christian school.
The decision from the court recognized that the denial of the tuition assistance was considered a violation of the First Amendment. Chief Justice Roberts states in the opinion, “In particular, we have repeatedly held that a State violates the Free Exercise Clause when it excludes religious observers from otherwise available public benefits.”
This decision has addressed a long-standing debate regarding school choice and state tuition assistance. Many would argue that the state cannot fund religious institutions, and therefore tuition assistance programs cannot be used for religious schools. However, this decision makes it clear that the state is not funding the school, but rather the child. The state, then, cannot discriminate where the child’s funds are used.
Why is school choice so important?
Here at NM FAM, we believe that a thriving society is a product of thriving families. When the government interferes in things like choosing where parents send their child to school, a family’s ability to thrive is diminished. When parents’ rights are threatened, a family can no longer thrive, but rather must fight to survive.
New Mexico families need to thrive. New Mexico parents must have their rights secure. New Mexico children must be able to receive good education, free from government ideals and control, and rooted in their family values.
SCOTUS has set the precedent; now let’s see it thrive in the Land of Enchantment! Will you join our efforts in protecting parents’ rights in New Mexico classrooms?