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MI Supreme Court rules non-public schools can get state funds


Michigan Supreme Court photo

An even split on the Michigan Supreme Court means religious schools and other non-public schools may get state funds to pay for complying with health and safety mandates. The court divided three-to-three with one justice abstaining. That upholds a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling. It said giving money to private schools to comply with mandates does not violate a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution. The amendment says taxpayer funds cannot be used to support non-public schools. 

Tom Hickson with the Michigan Catholic Conference cheered the decision. He said it’s a fairness issue. 

“If you’re going to require a non-public school – Catholic, Lutheran or any non-public school – require them to handle fire drills, or eliminate mercury in the thermometers and the labs, and things like this, they should be eligible for funding.”

Critics of the decision include teachers’ unions and public school groups. They may ask for a re-hearing next year when there is a new justice on the court.