MASB, MASA and MSBO File an Amicus Curiae Brief Opposing Private School Funding Law

Brad Banasik

By Brad Banasik, MASB Legal Counsel/Director of Labor Relations & Policy

DashBoard, Aug. 31, 2016

Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law an education budget that included a $2.5 million appropriation to reimburse private schools for complying with certain state mandates. MASB and other education groups urged the Governor to veto the funding bill, because it violates Article 8, Section 2 of the Michigan Constitution, which prohibits the appropriation of public funds to directly or indirectly aid or maintain a private school. Instead of vetoing the bill, the Governor requested an advisory opinion from the Michigan Supreme Court on whether the $2.5 million appropriation violates the Michigan Constitution.

MASB, the Michigan Association of School Administrators and the Michigan School Business Officials responded to an invitation from the Court to interested groups to file amicus curie briefs by filing a brief on behalf of their members. The brief emphasizes that both the citizens of Michigan and the Michigan Supreme Court have previously rejected as unconstitutional what the Legislature now seeks to do—permit funding to private schools for reimbursement of instructional costs.

It is assumed that the Michigan Supreme Court will issue a decision in response to the Governor’s request for an advisory opinion prior to Oct. 1. MASB will provide updates on the Court’s decision as soon as they are published.

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