Friday - October 23, 2020
Public Policy Tipoffs Involving Montana Newsletter for Sunday July 05, 2020 ( 29 items )  

AFT President Weingarten Issues Statement on Supreme Court Decision in Espinoza
WASHINGTON, June 30 -- The American Federation of Teachers issued the following statement by President Randi Weingarten after the Supreme Court issued a decision in Espinoza vs. Montana Department of Revenue: "This ruling in the Espinoza case is a seismic shock that threatens both public education and religious liberty. It is a radical departure from our Constitution, American history and our values. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in her dissent, this ruling is 'perverse.' "Never in more than  more

Alliance Defending Freedom: Supreme Court Upholds Montana School-Choice Tax Credit
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, July 1 -- The Alliance Defending Freedom issued the following statement by John Bursch, senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy regarding the Supreme Court's decision Tuesday to uphold Montana's tuition tax credit program in Espinoza vs. Montana Department of Revenue: "The Supreme Court was right to rule that states can't oust parents and children from neutral benefit programs simply because they choose a religious private school. "This is consistent with t  more

Alliance for Justice: Supreme Court Threatens Students and First Amendment
WASHINGTON, July 2 -- The Alliance for Justice issued the following statement by President Nan Aron: This morning the Supreme Court ruled in the case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that if a state funds private schools or education programs, it must also fund religious school programs. The decision effectively overturns 37 states' constitutions prohibiting state funding to sectarian institutions. This decision not only undermines the Constitution's Establishment Clause, but further e  more

American Center for Law & Justice: Big Victory in Supreme Court School Choice Case
WASHINGTON, July 2 -- The American Center for Law and Justice issued the following news on July 1: Yesterday, U.S. Supreme Court released an important ruling supporting school choice for parents. The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case urging the High Court to uphold the school choice program at issue. In its 5-4 decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Court declared: A State need not subsidize private education. But onc  more

American Humanist Association: Humanists Unsettled by High Court Ruling Favoring Taxpayer Funded Religious Schools
WASHINGTON, July 1 -- The American Humanist Association issued the following news release on June 30: Leaders at the American Humanist Association (AHA) lambasted today's 5-to-4 Supreme Court ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue favoring the further use of public funds for sectarian purposes. AHA Legal Director and Senior Counsel Monica Miller reacted to the news of the decision: "The constitutionally protected right to free exercise can only truly be observed when the governmen  more

Arc: Supreme Court Ruling Hurts Students With Disabilities
WASHINGTON, July 3 -- The Arc of the United States issued the following news release: The Arc is deeply disappointed in this week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The Court's decision opens the door for public funds to go to religious private schools that are largely unbound by federal laws in place to protect the rights of students with disabilities. "We have fought for decades to ensure that students with intellectual and developmental disabilities ha  more

Center for Inquiry: Secular Advocates Denounce Supreme Court Decision Forcing Taxpayers to Pay for Religious Schooling
AMHERST, New York, July 1 -- The Center for Inquiry issued the following news release: The Center for Inquiry condemned Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue for forcing American taxpayers to pay for religious indoctrination, gutting the protections in both the United States Constitution and in No Aid Provisions of three-quarters of state constitutions that forbid the use of taxpayer dollars for religious purposes. "This Court has been opening a hole u  more

Center of American Experiment: SCOTUS Decision Paves Way for Opportunity Scholarships in Minnesota
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minnesota, June 30 -- Center of the American Experiment issued the following statement by Policy Fellow Catrin Wigfall in response to the Supreme Court's opinion in Espinoza vs. Montana Revenue Department: "For years, Minnesota's Democratic legislators have been fighting against Opportunity Scholarships that would provide school choice for students stuck in failing public schools. "One of their arguments has been that the state of Minnesota, through its Blaine Amendment, can dis  more

Civil and Human Rights, Racial Justice Groups Support Ending the Funding of Police in Helena Public Schools
MISSOULA, Montana, July 1 -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana issued the following news: Motion to freeze hiring in Helena Police Department until further community ciscussion passes City Commission. The ACLU of Montana provided testimony at a Helena City Commission Meeting on Monday June 29, 2020 in support of a motion that could pave the way to ending policing in Helena's schools. Montana Human Rights Network, The Montana Racial Equity Project, Montana Women Vote, and Montana C  more

Concerned Women for America: Religious Bigotry Law Rejected by Supreme Court, Despite Liberal Justices Objections
WASHINGTON, June 30 -- Concerned Women for America issued the following statement by CEO and President Penny Nance in a 5-4 decision in Espinoza vs. Montana Department of Revenue, the Supreme Court invalidated a Montana law that targeted religious institutions for discrimination: "We applaud the Supreme Court's majority today for recognizing that Montana's exclusion of religious schools from the state scholarship program violates the U.S. Constitution. Tax dollars should not be used in such a b  more

Despite Supreme Court Setback, Education Minnesota Pledges to Resist Spread of Private-School Vouchers in Minnesota
ST. PAUL, Minnesota, July 1 -- Education Minnesota issued the following news release on June 29: The conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday voted to join the far-right effort to siphon taxpayer money from public schools for all and spend it on religious schools that can, and do, discriminate based on religion, gender and the special needs of certain students. In the case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the court voted 5-4 to say that states offering certain kin  more

Family Research Council Praises Supreme Court Decision to Protect School Choice, Religious Liberty in Espinoza Vs. Montana
WASHINGTON, July 3 -- The Family Research Council issued the following statement by Katherine Beck Johnson, research fellow for legal and policy: Family Research Council praised the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Espinoza vs. Montana, which held that it is a violation of the First Amendment to discriminate against religious activity by disallowing neutral and generally-available student-aid programs simply because they afford students the choice of attending religious schools. Now, famil  more

Foundation for Excellence in Education: Supreme Court Frees States to Expand Educational Options for Underserved
TALLAHASSEE, Florida, June 30 -- The Foundation for Excellence in Education issued the following statement by founder and Chairman Jeb Bush on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Espinoza vs. Montana Revenue Department: "For years, the archaic obstacle of Blaine Amendments has kept thousands of students and families away from the opportunity to attend schools other than those assigned to them solely by where they live. "Today's Supreme Court decision liberates states to expand educational optio  more

Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice on Supreme Court Victory in Espinoza
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, July 1 -- The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice issued the following statement by Vice President Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner regarding the Supreme Court's ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue: "Victory for children and families today! Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Espinoza vs. Montana Dept of Revenue, the right of parents to choose any private school--religiously affiliated or not--for their children in a school choice program, is affir  more

Georgia Public Policy Foundation Praises Supreme Court Ruling For Education Choice
ATLANTA, Georgia, July 2 -- The Georgia Public Policy Foundation issued the following news release on June 30: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation celebrated today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Montana violated the U.S. Constitution by excluding religious schools from the state's tax credit scholarship program that enabled students to attend private schools. Kyle Wingfield, President and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, called the ruling "a validation of the right of parents to  more

Heartland Institute Experts Applaud School Choice Victory in Supreme Court
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Illinois, July 1 -- The Heartland Institute issued the following news release on June 30: 'The U.S. Supreme Court provided a big win for those who believe in equality under the law and who are opposed to government discrimination of religious schools.' The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled Montana may not bar religious schools from participating in the state's tax-credit scholarship program. The 5-4 decision in Espinoza v. Montana is a major win for school choice advocates. It   more

Heritage Foundation: Supreme Court Decision Protects Religious Freedom and School Choice
WASHINGTON, July 1 -- The Heritage Foundation issued the following news: The Supreme Court struck down the application of a Montana law that prevented parents from using privately funded scholarship funds for their children at religious K-12 schools. Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James offered the following response: "Religious schools have been a part of American education since this country's founding. By any measure, they are a valid and often outstanding choice for a child's educati  more

Institute for Justice: Landmark Victory for Parents in Supreme Court School Choice Case
ARLINGTON, Virginia, July 1 -- The Institute for Justice issued the following news release: In a landmark 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a state court may not strike down a school choice program simply because it permits families to choose religious schooling. In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Court held that barring religious options in school choice programs violates the First Amendment's protections for religious liberty. School choice programs must be neutral   more

Institute for Justice: Maine's High School Tuitioning Program Is Clearly Unconstitutional Under New Supreme Court Precedent
ARLINGTON, Virginia, July 2 -- The Institute for Justice issued the following news release: The Institute for Justice (IJ) and First Liberty Institute (FLI) filed a notice of supplemental authority with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking it to rule in favor of parents who challenged Maine's high school tuitioning program. The three families, who filed suit nearly two years ago, would like to choose religious schools but are barred by state law. Yesterday's ruling in Espinoza v. Montan  more

Kansas Association of School Boards: U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Religious Schools
TOPEKA, Kansas, July 3 -- The Kansas Association of School Boards issued the following news: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of tuition tax credits to aid private, religious K-12 schools. The Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case is somewhat complex but does not appear to require a state to allow public funding of private religious schools if it does not already do so. The ruling also appears to protect Kansas' existing tuition tax credit scholarship program for low in  more

Mackinac Center for Public Policy: U.S. Supreme Court Gives Students Access to More Opportunities
MIDLAND, Michigan, July 1 -- The Mackinac Center for Public Policy issued the following news release: Children across the country should have greater access to more educational options, thanks to a decision (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-1195_g314.pdf) by the U.S. Supreme Court in Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue. In a 5-4 opinion, the Court struck down discriminatory policies that some states use to block support of and access to religious schools. Unfortunately, Michigan   more

Montana Chamber of Commerce: Association Leaders Call on Public to Wear Masks When Social Distancing Is Not Possible
HELENA, Montana, July 1 -- The Montana Chamber of Commerce issued the following joint statement with 5 organizations, including the Montana Restaurant Association, Montana Tavern Association, Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association, Montana Gaming Association, and Hospitality and Development Association of Montana: We, the undersigned, are as concerned about the rising number of COVID cases and public health as we are with the economic health of the businesses we represent. As we watch man  more

National Association of School Psychologists: Espinoza Decision Undercuts Public Education and Expands Taxpayer-Funded Discrimination
BETHESDA, Maryland, July 1 -- The National Association of School Psychologists issued the following news release: The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) believes that all children and youth are entitled to a free, appropriate, and high-quality public education. But, yesterday's 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue constitutes a major blow to public schools and significantly increases the risk that students with disabilities and other hi  more

National Forest Foundation: Partners Work Together to Restore and Protect Bill Williams Mountain
MISSOULA, Montana, July 3 -- The National Forest Foundation issued the following news: Situated adjacent to the City of Williams is a mountain of great importance to local citizens, private entities, municipalities, jurisdictions and tribes that help steward its well-being. It is known as Bill Williams Mountain, and it is an iconic feature of the northern Arizona landscape. The Kaibab National Forest, in partnership with Coconino County, the National Forest Foundation, and the Arizona Departme  more

National PTA Disappointed With Supreme Court Ruling in Espinoza Vs. Montana Department of Revenue Case
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, July 1 -- The National Parent Teacher Association issued the following statement by President Leslie Boggs: "National PTA is disappointed with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, allowing taxpayer dollars to be diverted to private schools. "Tax credits and vouchers fund the education of only a few, select students; divert resources from the students and schools that need it the most; and lack accountability measures. National PTA   more

National School Boards Association Statement in Response to U.S. Supreme Court State Aid to Private School Decision
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, June 30 -- The National School Boards Association issued the following statement by Executive Director and CEO Anna Maria Chavez in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Espinoza vs. Montana Revenue Department: "Today's 5-4 Supreme Court decision in the Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case is a disappointing loss for our country's public schools and the 50 million children that attend them. "Public schools in every community across the country face unpara  more

NCEA Applauds the Supreme Court's Ruling to Recognize Need for Inclusion of Faith-Based Schools in Parent Choice Programs
ARLINGTON, Virginia, July 1 -- The National Catholic Educational Association issued the following news release on June 30: The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) welcomes the June 30 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of the petitioners in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, who challenged the invalidation of a tax credit scholarship program by the Montana Supreme Court because of the potential for inclusion of families wishing to send their children to rel  more

NEA: Conservative Supreme Court Opens Door for DeVos Voucher Schemes
WASHINGTON, July 1 -- The National Education Association issued the following statement by President Lily Eskelsen Garcia: The nation's 51 million public school students were dealt a blow by the Supreme Court's extreme decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The National Education Association and its 3 million members decried the case from the start as a Betsy DeVos-supported scheme to funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to religious and private schools. Ahead of oral arguments,   more

Public School Options Applauds Supreme Court Ruling on School Choice
WASHINGTON, July 1 -- The National Coalition for Public School Options issued the following statement on June 30 by Parent Board President Colleen Cook: The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of parent choice, as the court found Montana's exclusion of religious schools from a state scholarship program funded by tax credits violates the U.S. Constitution. The 5-4 decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is a major victory for parents who want educational options, as it ens  more