Oral arguments in the US Supreme Court case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue were heard on Wednesday, January 22. The case involves Montana’s tax credit scholarship program. Shortly after tax credit legislation was passed in Montana, their department of revenue said that families couldn’t use the scholarships at religious schools. The Montana Supreme Court ruled that the entire program violated the state constitution (Blaine amendment) barring state funding of religious private schools, and the state shut the program down. Three families who would have benefited from a tax credit scholarship brought their case all the way to the Supreme Court.
It has been a fascinating case to follow – for more details on the case itself check out this article. A decision is expected this summer.
Should we be worried about Indiana’s tax credit scholarship program? Experts at EdChoice say “no.” Even if the Supreme Court would vote in favor of Montana, it is unlikely it would have any impact on our program in Indiana. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that our tax credit program is not in violation of our state constitution. On the other hand, if the court rules in favor of the families this could open up state tax credit programs to other states.