How will Carson v Makin affect Catholic schools?

Nicole Garnett, senior policy adviser to the Alliance for Catholic Education and a Notre Dame University law professor, recently joined Tim Uhl, secretary of education/superintendent for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, on the Catholic School Matters podcast to discuss the recent Carson v. Makin Supreme Court case and implications for school choice moving forward. Here are some excerpts of the podcast:

The Catholic school movement has been advocating for the position that the court finally endorsed in Carson v Makin, which is that you cannot exclude a religious school from public benefit programs like school voucher programs because they’re religious. That is a position the Catholic Church has taken for over 175 years … So, there is a long history here of Catholic schools seeking public resources and being rebuked both politically and legally.

Neutrality toward religion isn’t math, it’s law. So, it’s not we don’t count up how many kids are in what kind of school and decide what neutrality is. It’s not a neutrality question, it’s a legal question … The First Amendment requires neutrality toward religion.

It is true that Catholic schools have been flirting with being charter schools for a long time. It’s always important to keep in mind … it’s not necessarily a good idea that even if you could be a charter school that you want to be a charter school … there’s lots of political reasons you might not want to do it … it’s arguable that you should be permitted to if you want to.

You can listen to the full podcast here.

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BY Special to NextSteps