WASHINGTON – Public Funds Public Schools (PFPS), a campaign of the Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC Action Fund, Education Law Center, and Munger, Tolles & Olson, issued the below statement following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which overruled a previous decision by Montana’s highest court that struck down a publicly funded voucher program in accordance with the state constitution’s 1972 no-aid provision. The PFPS amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm the decision of the Montana Supreme Court can be found here.
The following statement is from Tamerlin Godley, Partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson:
“It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court of the United States has overruled the will of the people of Montana by denying them the crucial ability to preserve public funds for public schools. The state’s 1972 constitution clearly expresses Montanan’s desire to keep taxpayer funds in public schools and thereby fulfill their commitment to provide a free, high-quality education to all Montana children. Expenditure of taxpayer dollars to aid private, religious schools violates Montana’s state constitution.
“Diverting limited public funds to support private schools does not improve educational opportunities for students. Our focus should be to strengthen our country’s underfunded public schools, which are open to all and educate the vast majority of our students.
“PFPS will continue our advocacy to ensure that public funds for education are used to maintain, support, and strengthen public schools. All children deserve a thriving public school in their community.”