SCOTUS decision paves the way for Opportunity Scholarships in Minnesota

Catrin Wigfall released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue:

“For years, Minnesota’s Democratic legislators have been fighting against Opportunity Scholarships that would provide school choice for students stuck in failing public schools. One of their arguments has been that the state of Minnesota, through its Blaine Amendment, can discriminate against families who choose religious private education. The Supreme Court’s decision invalidates that argument, and gives hope to low-income and minority students who need better educational options to succeed.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that “The Blaine Amendment was ‘born of bigotry’ and ‘arose at a time of pervasive hostility to the Catholic Church and to Catholics in general’; many of its state counterparts have a similarly ‘shameful pedigree.’” He added, “A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

Minnesota’s Equity and Opportunity Scholarship Act legislation would eliminate financial barriers for low-income students to attend a school of their choice. The scholarships would be funded through private contributions and would be eligible for a state tax credit, up to certain limits.