WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court today issued a 6-3 decision in Carson v. Makin, a case brought on behalf of those seeking public tuition for students to attend religious schools that were excluded from the Maine program. The National Education Association filed a joint amicus brief with its state-level affiliate, the Maine Education Association, and other labor unions and organizations, arguing that Maine’s school funding program is constitutional.
The following can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:
“All students, no matter where they are from or live, deserve access to a great public school. The public education system remains one of our most powerful institutions for maintaining a democratic society and fostering common understanding among our people. With its radical ruling in Carson v. Makin, the Supreme Court has once again undermined public schools and the students they serve in favor of providing funding for private religious schools that serve only a few and often discriminate against students and employees. Forcing American taxpayers to fund private religious education — even when those private schools fail to meet education standards, intentionally discriminate against students, or use public funds to promote religious training, worship, and instruction — erodes the foundation of our democracy and harms students.
“The Supreme Court’s job is to interpret the Constitution, not invent doctrines to promote radical education policy outcomes. We are witnessing one of the most extreme Supreme Courts in modern history rewrite the most basic social commitments of our society — that publicly-funded education should be free and open to all without discrimination is one of those commitments. Shamefully, today’s decision tosses aside that social commitment.”
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at www.nea.org.