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Josh Hawley on Education

 

 


Excluding religious school choice amounts to discrimination

In 2007, Jon Huntsman Jr., then the governor of Utah, signed a statewide school voucher program into law. The "Parent Choice in Education Act" enabled all children in the state to access a scholarship to attend any private school of their choosing.

Opponents of school choice decry the use of public money to fund private schools. There is a wrinkle: the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and, more specifically for Missourians, the Blaine Amendment to the Missouri Constitution, which stipulates that "no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect or denomination of religion."

In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that excluding religious institutions from school choice programs and funding amounted to discrimination. The court is currently weighing a challenge to Missouri's Blaine Amendment. Newly inaugurated Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley insists, "Blaine Amendments cannot be allowed to trump the First Amendment."

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch on 2018 Missouri Senate race , Jan 20, 2017

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