A brand new lawsuit over Maine’s tuition reimbursement program for personal colleges contends an antidiscrimination regulation unfairly targets spiritual colleges to stop their participation.
The regulation requiring all colleges to observe state antidiscrimination legal guidelines, together with protections for LGBTQ college students and school, to obtain reimbursements went into impact earlier than the U.S. Supreme Courtroom dominated that Maine can’t exclude spiritual colleges from its program that provides tuition support for personal schooling.
The lawsuit, filed Monday, contends the regulation discriminates towards spiritual colleges by imposing restrictions that particularly goal to maintain them out of this system.
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“Maine misplaced on the U.S. Supreme Courtroom simply final 12 months however shouldn’t be getting the message that spiritual discrimination is unlawful,” Lea Patterson, lawyer for Texas-based First Liberty Institute, certainly one of two regulation companies representing Bangor Christian Faculty, mentioned Tuesday in a press release.
Maine Lawyer Common Aaron Frey mentioned the Maine Human Rights Act protects all residents from discrimination and he mentioned he is “steadfast” in upholding the regulation. “If abiding by this state regulation is unacceptable to the plaintiffs, they’re free to forego taxpayer funding,” Frey mentioned Tuesday.
There have been a number of lawsuits through the years over Maine’s program that gives tuition reimbursements for personal colleges for college students who reside in communities that do not have a public faculty.
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The state program excluded spiritual colleges from participation earlier than the U.S. Supreme Courtroom’s 6-Three ruling, which was hailed as a victory for college selection proponents.
Within the Maine case, mother and father sued to have the ability to use state support to ship their youngsters to Bangor Christian Faculty and Temple Academy in Waterville. Each of these colleges have insurance policies that discriminate on a foundation of sexual orientation or gender identification, the lawyer common mentioned beforehand.
The Maine Human Rights Act was amended by state legislators on the subject of its software to varsities simply earlier than the Supreme Courtroom agreed to listen to that lawsuit.
In the long run, neither Bangor Christian Faculty nor Temple Academy in Waterville utilized to take part final fall. Just one spiritual faculty, Cheverus Excessive Faculty, a Jesuit school preparatory faculty in Portland, submitted an software for tuition reimbursement and was authorized by the state.
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