The U.S. Supreme Court heard an oral argument this week on a Missouri case that could open the door to Catholic and other private schools and children qualifying for non-sectarian state funded services and programs. The case involves a Lutheran preschool in Columbia, Missouri, that applied for a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to obtain crushed tires for its playground. The preschool’s grant application was denied because the school was owned by a church, and the Missouri Constitution prohibits state funds being used “in aid of any Church.”
The media reports about the oral arguments indicate that the justices appeared to be inclined to rule in favor of the Church. Such a ruling could open the door to Catholic school students and others qualifying for state-funded transportation, virtual school programs, textbooks, and other services that are religiously neutral. How the court will ultimately rule, however, is anyone’s guess. A final ruling is expected by the end of June. Stay tuned!