In an article published by Fox News, TCA’s Ashley McGuire urges the Supreme Court to strengthen school options for parents. She writes:

“Parents across America are losing faith in the public school system. If you do a cursory web search for “public school declining enrollment” you’ll see what I mean.

Children at private schools, including private religious schools, have continued to live a relatively normal life throughout the course of this pandemic. I know this is true because my family has lived it.

The Supreme Court now has an opportunity to strengthen school options for parents. In rural areas of Maine, public high schools are few and far between. The state provides tuition assistance for students who attend private schools. But there’s a catch: anyone who decides to attend a religious private school is immediately disqualified from accessing that aid.

What does this mean? It means that a child in Maine can receive state funds to help pay for their tuition at elite Connecticut schools like Miss Porter’s or the Taft School, but not for a local Catholic school. Families in Maine have brought their case to the Supreme Court.

If the situation in Maine sounds unfair and discriminatory, that’s because it is. In the 19th century, at the height of anti-Catholic sentiment, many states passed anti-religion laws intended to keep children at Catholic schools from accessing state funds while the public schools remained Protestant. Today, these types of laws affect families of many faiths (and no faith) who are simply looking for a decent alternative to their failing local public schools.

Catholic schools exist in part to serve the very students for which state programs like Maine’s were designed. If the goal is the education of future generations, the government should be eager to partner with religious schools, especially considering how they have fared during the pandemic compared to public schools. It is time for state governments to recognize what families want for their children and do something about it. I know where the state of Maine could start.”