A “nonsectarian” requirement included with a tuition assistance program offered in Maine violated the First Amendment’s Free Exercise of Religion Clause, the United States Supreme Court ruled last month.
The 6–3 decision in Carson v. Makin may make it easier for religious schools nationwide, at least in some cases, to benefit from financial aid made available to use at other public and private schools.
Maine has enacted a program of tuition assistance for parents who live in school districts that do not operate a secondary school of their own. Under the program, parents designate the secondary school they would like their child to attend—public or private—and the school district transmits payments to that school to help defray the costs of tuition.
Most private schools are eligible to receive the payments, so long as they are “nonsectarian,” ...