Argument over religious tuition payments in federal court

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A small group of Maine parents that is backed by the U.S. Department of Justice is expected to argue in court that the state should pay tuition for some students to attend religious schools.

The case is slated for oral arguments in U.S. District Court in Portland Monday. The case hinges on interpretation of a state tuition policy for students in districts that don't have a high school. The state has long agreed to pay tuition for a private school, but not a religious one.

The families have previously made the argument that denying tuition for religious schools violates their constitutional rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is among the groups arguing in favor of the state's policy. Legal director Zachary Heiden says courts have consistently upheld it.

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