THE U.S. SUPREME COURT agreed to hear oral arguments this fall concerning a decision by Montana’s Supreme Court to halt the operation of a tax credit scholarship program that allowed students to enroll in private schools, including private religious schools.
The announcement Friday breathed new life into the private school choice movement, which has made little to no headway at the federal level despite a tax credit scholarship being the No. 1 agenda item of Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, herself a private school choice supporter.
Private school choice advocates cheered the decision by the high court to review Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, saying they’re hopeful the court will provide a definitive answer on the constitutionality of directing public money or aid to private religious schools.
SOME PUBLIC universities disproportionately direct their recruiting efforts on out-of-state students from affluent, white communities and private schools, a new study shows, adding fuel to an increasingly fiery debate about inequity within higher education that colleges and universities have been trying to sidestep for years.
“In contrast to rhetoric from university leaders, our findings suggest strong socioeconomic and racial biases in the enrollment priorities of many public research universities,” researchers wrote.
“A small number of universities exhibit recruiting patterns broadly consistent with the historical mission of social mobility for meritorious state residents,” they said. “However, most universities concentrated recruiting visits in wealthy, out-of-state communities while also privileging affluent schools in in-state visits.”
A senior presidential aide said Wednesday that American families should have various school options for their children, including private schools.
Jason Botel, Donald Trump’s education adviser, told a National PTA conference that some children may not thrive in traditional public or charter schools and should have an opportunity to attend private schools.
“We need an education landscape that offers high quality options to all students and parents,” Botel told the conference.
Botel, who has worked in both traditional public and charter schools, told the story of some of his students who were only able to succeed academically after going to private schools. “We are committed to ensuring that students and parents of all backgrounds for whom public school may not be the best option have access to high quality private schools,” he added.