AFC Celebrates Supreme Court’s Affirmation of Parents’ Education Rights

On Tuesday, 20 years after 2002’s pivotal Zelman decision, the United States Supreme Court handed down an exciting ruling for families across the United States. In the Carson v. Makin case, the Court has further clarified its ruling in Espinoza, which had established that states may not exclude school options based on their religious status.

In Carson, families sued when their options were limited based on religious use. In other words, lower courts had ruled that participating schools could be religious in name only – and families could not have the option if they did religious things.

Now, the Court has ruled 6-3 that this barrier is unconstitutional. The ruling says, “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.”

Statement from Tommy Schultz, CEO of the American Federation for Children:

“This is a thunderclap for education freedom. Parents across America can celebrate today as the Court has affirmed their fundamental right to choose an education that works for their family. With today’s ruling, the rights of American students have been resoundingly confirmed. Now, legislators in every state must take action to provide as many options as possible to families in their state. AFC stands ready to support this goal.”