RELEASE: U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Families and Education Freedom

In a landmark victory for education freedom and religious liberty, today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of children and families in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue in a 5-4 decision. The decision strikes down state Blaine amendments.

Statement from American Federation for Children President, John Schilling: 

“Today is a good day for children and families in Montana and a historic day for our country. Every child, regardless of income, deserves high-quality educational options. The Court rightly recognized the discriminatory nature of state Blaine amendments, and they’ve once again affirmed the constitutionality of school choice programs. These Blaine laws, spurred by a nineteenth century movement rooted in anti-Catholic animus, have long been used by opponents of school choice to prevent families from pursuing educational options. We look forward to the continued expansion of the scholarship program in Montana and programs across the country. We will continue advocating for all families and children’s right to educational freedom and opportunity.

“Though this is an important ruling and a major victory for families and children, a far greater crisis for K-12 families is looming and Congress must act right now. Thousands of private schools are facing permanent closure due to COVID-19, which would be tragic for families, students and communities. It would also be financially devastating for states and school districts because they cannot afford to absorb hundreds of thousands, if not a million or more, displaced private school students, most of whom are from lower income families. There is also an opportunity to provide expanded educational options to the overwhelming majority of families in desperate need of access to a better education. If there is to be additional relief for K-12 education in upcoming federal legislation, 10% of those funds should be allocated to help private school families and children, while also including a comprehensive and sustainable federal tax credit that would generate additional scholarship funds going forward.”