FILE - West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

(The Center Square) – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined 16 other states in a brief that asks the U.S. Supreme Court to support providing public funds for all private schools, religious and nonreligious.

The 18-state brief was filed in support of three families suing the Maine Department of Education over the state’s exclusion of religious schools receiving benefits based solely because they are religious schools.

Maine allows families who live in towns without public schools to receive tuition to attend public or private schools of their choice, according to The Associated Press. However, religious schools are not an option for parents.

Morrisey believes religious schools should be part of the choice for parents when taxpayer money is in use.

“Parents have the freedom to choose where their children go to school, particularly when they’re paying tuition,” Morrisey said. “It’s only fair that families who practice a religion of their choice get the same freedom. Discrimination against schools that teach religious doctrine is simply discrimination against religious schools.”

A news release from Morrisey said many of the states that joined in the brief partner with private schools to allow parents to make educational choices.

The brief argues the availability to partner with religious schools furthers each state’s goal of providing a variety of educational choices and protects individual constitutional rights.

Along with West Virginia, the brief includes Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.