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Maine is able to fund tuition for some spiritual college college students for the primary time since a Supreme Court ruling in June ordered the state to deal with these colleges the identical as different non-public colleges relating to tuition reimbursement.
Cheverus Excessive College, a Jesuit faculty preparatory college in Portland, was the one spiritual college to use for participation within the state’s tuition reimbursement plan and its software was accredited by the state, a state official mentioned Thursday.
Carroll Conley, government director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, mentioned he is inspired by the primary tuition reimbursements for a non secular college because the Nineteen Eighties in Maine.
“We’re hopeful and inspired that (others) may be capable of discover a path to take part” subsequent 12 months, he mentioned.
There was no quick remark from Cheverus, which is a Roman Catholic college however will not be ruled by the Diocese of Portland.
There have been a number of lawsuits over time because the state ended tuition reimbursements to non secular college earlier than the Supreme Court docket dominated that Maine cannot exclude spiritual colleges from a program that gives tuition for personal training in cities the place there are not any public high schools
The Supreme Court docket’s 6-3 resolution was the newest in a line of rulings by the courtroom which have favored religion-based discrimination claims. It might gasoline a renewed push for college selection packages in numerous states which have to this point haven’t directed taxpayer cash to non-public, spiritual training.
Regardless of the victory, spiritual colleges are taking a cautious method after Maine Legal professional Basic Aaron Frey mentioned all colleges accepting public funds should abide by the Maine Human Rights Act.
The act bans discrimination on the idea of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or incapacity. That would come with accepting homosexual and transgender lecturers and college students, which might battle with some spiritual colleges’ beliefs.
Within the Maine case that led to excessive courtroom’s ruling, dad and mom sued in federal courtroom to have the ability to use state assist to ship their youngsters to Christian colleges in Bangor and Waterville. The 2 colleges in query — Temple Academy in Waterville and Bangor Christian Faculties — have insurance policies that discriminate on a foundation of sexual orientation or gender id, Frey has mentioned.