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School Choice Money Can Go to Montana's Religious Schools

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Montana's school choice program can grant scholarships to students who attend faith-based schools, a state judge has ruled.

District Judge Heidi Ulbricht ruled last month that the state revenue department incorrectly excluded such students from the program, which is funded by donations that can be offset by up to $150 in nonrefundable tax credits.

In writing the administrative rules for the program, the revenue department said an institution controlled by any church or religious sect could not be considered a "qualified education provider." The agency argued the state constitution does not allow appropriations to faith-based schools. Ulbricht found that the program is funded through tax credits, not appropriations, and wrote that the constitution does not address the use of tax credits.

Vol. 36, Issue 34, Page 5

Published in Print: June 7, 2017, as School Choice Money Can Go to Montana's Religious Schools
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