Advancing American Freedom Founder Mike Pence today announced the filing of an amicus brief by Advancing American Freedom (AAF) in Carson v. Makin at the Supreme Court of the United States. In its amicus brief, AAF explains that Maine’s discrimination against religious schools deprives parents of their free exercise of religion, strips families of their ability to best decide how to educate their children, and blocks families from sending their children to the school that is the best fit to produce strong educational outcomes.
“The ability for American families to choose where their child goes to school should not be based on zip code or income, or dictated by bureaucrats and formulas,” said former Vice President and AAF Founder Mike Pence. “Advancing American Freedom will always fight to empower parents to determine the best school for their children.”
According to the brief, if the State of Maine determines that a school is insufficiently secular, it bars parents from using publicly provided tuition assistance funds to send their children to that school.
Additionally, “[t]he individuals most impacted by Maine’s unconstitutional tuition assistance limitation are those of modest means…Under Maine’s discriminatory rule, children of such families may remain stuck attending schools that are not the best fit for their educational needs.” The resulting “meaningful educational disadvantage” is a product of the State’s “invidious religious criterion.”
Unlike Maine’s tuition assistance program, Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program permits use of its scholarships at any participating secular or nonsecular school, including Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and other Christian schools, as well as Hebrew and Islamic academics.
According to a study published by the U.S. Department of Education, private school Choice Scholarship recipient students in Indiana were more likely than traditional public school students to be a racial or ethnic minority, from low-income households, and English language learners.
The same U.S. Department of Education study found that Indiana students who received Choice Scholarships outperformed their public school counterparts on several key academic metrics.
The filing marks the second major amicus brief from Advancing American Freedom. The first, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, asked the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Please find a copy of the amicus brief HERE.