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Judge: Refusal to pay for religious school is constitutional

June 27, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A federal judge has ruled it’s constitutional for a Maine education program to deny public tuition dollars be used for religious schools.

The case was subject to arguments in U.S. District Court in Portland earlier this week, and it concerns a state tuition policy for students in districts that don’t have high schools. The state allows payment of tuition for a private school, but not a religious school, in those districts.

Judge Brock Hornby wrote Wednesday that this week’s arguments were essentially a “rehearsal” for an appeal to a higher court. Attorneys for a group of Maine parents that wants the state to pay for their children to attend Christian schools say they will appeal immediately.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and others argued in favor of Maine’s longstanding policy.

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