Tag: Blaine Amendments

New report shows how Massachusetts could adopt education savings account program

Editor’s note: This commentary from Tim Benson, a policy analyst in the government relations department of the Heartland Institute, appeared recently on the institute’s website. A January 2022 white paper from the Pioneer Institute illustrates how a tax-credit funded education savings account program might be the best way forward for pursuing[Read More…]

In Espinoza’s wake, is the Blaine bane at risk?

“Like to one more rich in hope.” Twelfth Night, Shakespeare The media are calling the long-awaited U.S. Supreme Court decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue a victory for “conservatives.” The Court has liberated a few low-income Montana families from conscription by the state and the teachers union, and[Read More…]

Komer saved the best for last

Bigots spent an enormous amount of effort in the late 19th century enshrining their hostility to Catholics and Jews into dozens of state constitutions in the form of Blaine Amendments. They quite nearly amended the federal Constitution as well. It was never going to be easy to undo, but it[Read More…]

Court lays to rest age-old debate with Espinoza decision

After more than a century, the U.S. Supreme Court finally has determined that Blaine amendments, which were created in the late 19th century under a wave of anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic bias, violate the U.S. Constitution’s Free Exercise clause. “A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides[Read More…]

Senate committee’s teacher pay proposal, carrying on campuses, restricting restraints and more

Teacher raises: The Florida Senate Education Committee has released its $22.6 billion budget plan that calls for an increase in spending of $762 million, with $500 million of it going toward teacher salary increases. That’s about $100 million less than Gov. Ron DeSantis requested to raise starting teacher salaries, and the Senate also would distribute the money differently than DeSantis wanted…

Weapons at schools: Two bills are approved by a House subcommittee that would allow people to carry guns in churches that have schools and permit school board members with concealed carry permits to be armed at school board meetings. Both H.B. 1437 and H.B. 183 received bipartisan support in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee…

Restricting restraints: A House subcommittee has approved a bill that could put restrictions on the use of restraints on students. H.B. 1231 would define the terms “restraint” and “seclusion” and establish when their use is permitted. School districts would have to create policies emphasizing positive behavior interventions and train employees in their use…

Espinoza may not be the game changer some are predicting

It seems especially appropriate midway through National School Choice Week to ask: Can the use of state “Blaine Amendments” to prohibit publicly available funds from being used by parents at religiously affiliated educational options be considered discriminatory? And if so, does that discrimination violate a family’s right guaranteed by the[Read More…]