June 30, 2020

Sarah Clements, West End Strategy Team; Phone: 202.765.8584

In School Voucher Case, SCOTUS Undermines State and Federal Prohibitions on Public Funding for Religious Activities

WASHINGTON — Today, the Supreme Court issued a decision in  Espinoza v. Montana, greenlighting the use of taxpayer dollars to fund religious instruction. Katy Joseph, director of policy & advocacy at Interfaith Alliance, condemned the decision, stating:

American public schools play an unparalleled role in building cooperation and understanding among diverse communities. Open to all, these institutions exist to deliver on the promise of a quality education for every child. For a myriad of reasons, our public schools are chronically underfunded leaving students without equal opportunities for achievement.

Today’s decision will only make this problem worse by redirecting public funds away from public schools and into private, often religious, institutions through tax credit programs like Montana’s Student Scholarship Organizations. The First Amendment prohibits discrimination by government entities against religion writ large, but also prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to fund religious activities. While every American enjoys the freedom to practice our faith, or no faith at all, we do not have the right to demand public support for private religious observance.

By siding with private religious institutions, the Supreme Court’s decision will further starve our public school systems while inflicting lasting damage to the wall of separation between religion and government.

If you would like to speak with Katy Joseph further, please contact Sarah Clements at


Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit