Education A State Capitals Roundup

Plaintiffs File Appeal in Maine Voucher Case

By Robert C. Johnston — October 26, 2004 1 min read

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to allow Maine families to use publicly financed vouchers at religious schools are taking their case to the state’s supreme court.

An appeal filed Oct. 18 seeks to overturn a Cumberland County Superior Court’s decision this month upholding Maine’s law barring families from using state tuition aid to send their children to religious schools, said Clark Neily, a senior lawyer with the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based advocacy group representing eight families in the lawsuit.

Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court upheld the law in a similar challenge seven years ago. The state allows students who live in small communities without enough public schools to use public funds to attend private nonreligous schools.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2002 in favor of Cleveland’s school voucher program in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris prompted the new lawsuit in Maine, Mr. Neily said.

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