School Choice & Charters

Judge Approves Using Tax Dollars For Religious School Textbooks

By Arianna Prothero — October 30, 2014 1 min read

The New Mexico state Court of Appeals has ruled that it is constitutional for the state to provide textbooks to private and religious schools, according to the Associated Press.

New Mexico’s constitution prohibits using taxpayer dollars to support any “sectarian, denominational or private school,” but the court decided Monday that the decades-old law in question is in line with the constitution.

Here’s why: the ban is to make sure public education doesn’t become sectarian, but the textbooks are secular, and, technically, the state controls the administration and use of its instructional materials. The court concluded that the program was ultimately for the benefit of students, upholding a decision by a state district court judge in Santa Fe.

In other school choice-in-the-courts news this week, the Washington State Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a legal challenge to the state’s new charter school law passed by voter referendum in 2012. Washington charter school advocates anticipate a decision in the case coming sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, Louisiana State District Judge Wilson Fields said Wednesday he will rule at the end of the week on whether he’ll issue a preliminary injunction in a union-backed challenge to state charter school funding. That’s also according to the Associated Press.

Related: Louisiana Teachers’ Union Sues to Halt Charter School Funding

Related: First Charter School Opens in Washington State

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.