Testimony in Montana: Proposed regulations limiting school choice are unconstitutional

November 05, 2015 | By WENCONG FA

I will be testifying later today in front of Montana’s Department of Revenue on behalf of the Association of Christian Schools International, Helena Christian School, and Foothills Community Christian School. Earlier this year, the Montana Legislature enacted the state’s first school choice program, which allowed individuals and businesses to donate to scholarship organizations in exchange for a tax credit. As enacted, the law allowed scholarship organizations to use the money to fund a child’s education at any private school in the state. The Department of Revenue, however, recently proposed regulations that would prevent religious private schools from getting any of the scholarship funds.

The proposed regulations, in our view, violate several provisions of the Constitution by explicitly singling out religion for disadvantageous treatment. What’s more, because most private schools in Montana are affiliated with religion, the proposed regulations would essentially eliminate school choice in the state. That’s the opposite of what the Montana legislature intended, and Pacific Legal Foundation is excited to fight for school choice on behalf of Montana families.

You can read the transcript of my testimony here.