PLF attorneys are opposing a proposed rule by the Montana Department of Revenue to ban religious-based schools and their students from participating in Montana’s new Scholarship Tax Credit program.
In testimony before a recent hearing on the department’s proposal, PLF Attorney Wen Fa argued that the proposed regulation violates the program’s intended purpose of expanding educational choices and opportunities for Montana families and school-aged children; and that it violates the Constitution’s guarantees of religious freedom and equal protection of the laws.
Enacted by the Montana Legislature this year, and due to take effect at the beginning of 2016, the Scholarship Tax Credit program is intended to encourage educational choice, by allowing individuals and businesses to donate to non-government, nonprofit scholarship organizations in return for a corresponding income tax credit.
The scholarship organizations, in turn, provide tuition scholarships to help students attend a public or private school of their choice. In our podcast, Fa and PLF Principal Attorney Joshua Thompson discuss the state’s assault on school choice and religious freedom, which will be challenged in court by PLF if the rule is not withdrawn.