PFPS and Voucher Litigation

Council of Organizations & Others for Education about Parochiaid v. State (Michigan Supreme Court)

PFPS filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the plaintiffs’ application for Michigan Supreme Court review in a challenge to a state law that would reimburse private schools for a range of expenses in violation of the Michigan Constitution’s prohibition on public funding of private schools. PFPS’s brief provides crucial context about Michigan voters’ approval of the state constitution’s no-aid clause in response to a strained public education budget, and details the continuing severe underfunding of Michigan’s public schools. The Michigan Supreme Court granted review and invited PFPS to file another amicus brief as it considers the merits of the case.

Carson v. Makin (U.S. District Court for the District of Maine)

PFPS joined with the National Education Association and the Maine Education Association to file an amicus curiae brief supporting Maine’s decision not to use public school funding on tuition at private religious schools. The brief explains that inclusion of sectarian schools would undermine the State’s careful construction of a limited program to fulfill its constitutional duty to provide publicly funded education in the narrow circumstances where a traditional public school is not available. Forcing the State to pay tuition to religious schools would divert taxpayer dollars from an already underfunded public school system, deeply enmesh the State in regulating matters of religion, and effectively compel the State to fund discrimination because many private religious schools discriminate on the basis of religion, sexual orientation and/or disability. The district court upheld Maine’s law limiting the program to nonreligious schools.

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