Guest Post: Understanding the Supreme Court Decision for Maine Families, by Mikaela Nadeau
I sometimes wonder what has happened in today's society when we read headlines, and not the content. A recent court decision for Maine parents has been decided by the Supreme Court and is a huge constitutional win for around 5000 students within the state of Maine. (Read more here: NPR Coverage)
Under prior jurisdiction of the families whose children reside in areas without a public high school a stipend of taxpayer money would be given for those children to attend another nearby school or nonsectarian private school. There has never been such backlash for those taxpayer funds going to nonsectarian schools such as Thornton Academy, Fryeburg Academy, and others with no religious affiliation.
After the Supreme Court decision came out that the state of Maine couldn't deny those under qualifying criteria for taxpayer tuition cost for private religious high school, people have come out bombasting the decision. Much of the ire in comments on news articles have been about taxpayer funds for anyone to go to religious schools, and why can't non-religious schools be included? This doesn't mean that any family in the state of Maine can now opt for taxpayer funded tuition to any religious or non-religious school in Maine, it only applies to those families who have always been granted a stipend for public or private schools where none exist due to their locality not having a public high school.
People find that this decision sets a dangerous precedent, and instead haven't looked at the huge win for freedom of affected families in Maine for generations. This isn't declaring that Maine must recognise the religion of a school a parent chooses to send their child to, and it certainly isn't imposing a religion on the citizenry of the state. Instead it is allowing parents who otherwise have no public high school to take the cost of what average tuition is in the state of Maine, to be applied to any school of their choosing - including religious schools. As it stands now Maine pays out approximately $11,000 for a family to send their child to a public, or private high school where there isn't one in that town. This decision just means that now those families can also take their stipend to a religious school of their choosing.
This in my opinion, is a huge win for parental involvement, and freedom of religion in the state of Maine.
*This is a guest post by Mikaela Nadeau. The views expressed are those of Mikaela Nadeau, and not endorsed by the New Gloucester GOP. The New Gloucester GOP supports the right of individuals to submit guest blog posts freely, and without censorship. If you are interested in sharing an article, or post please send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org