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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Md. Case That Upheld Church-State Separation By Rejecting Request For Tax Funding Of Religious Education

The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to review a case involving parents in Maryland who sought to force taxpayers to foot the bill for their child’s education at a private, religious school. The high court’s refusal to hear M.L. v. Smith leaves in place a lower court opinion that protects church-state separation.

Religious Right Group Drops Lawsuit Challenging Md. School District’s Transgender Policies

A lawsuit challenging a Maryland school district’s policies allowing transgender students to use rest­rooms that correspond with their gender identity has been dropped.

The suit, brought by an attorney affiliated with the Religious Right legal group Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of an unidentified Frederick County woman and her teenage daughter, was withdrawn on Nov. 6 because the teen was stressed about the “potential humiliation” of being identified as the plaintiff, according to The Washington Post.

Md. District Does Not Have To Pay For Religious Schooling

A federal appeals court has ruled that a Maryland public school district is not required to fund a student’s religious education.

In the case, Leiman v. Smith, Akiva and Shani Leiman, the parents of a special-needs student, admitted that the public school system in Montgomery County could provide a suitable education for their child but argued that they were nevertheless entitled to tuition reimbursement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to send their child to a Jewish school.

Md. Legislature Passes Private School Voucher Program

Maryland legislators voted in March to approve a budget that includes $5 million in grants for low-income students who wish to attend private schools.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has indicated he will sign the bill. The proposal is the culmination of a decade-long attempt by voucher advocates to funnel public money to private schools.

Teachers unions had opposed the measure. Sean Johnson, who represents the Maryland State Education Association, told The Washington Post the group will continue to lobby against it.

Maryland’s Mistake: Vouchers Comes To The Free State

Maryland recently became the latest state to adopt a school voucher program that will benefit mostly religious schools. The state will spend $5 million on the program, which is aimed at low-income students in Baltimore.

The Washington Post is ecstatic. The newspaper, which constantly promotes vouchers on its editorial page, recently published an editorial that reads like a string of talking points from the Cato Institute.

Md. General Assembly Considers School Prayer Bill

Maryland legislators are debating a proposal that would require public schools to allow student-led prayer at all public school events. S.B. 267, sponsored by Del. Ric Metzgar (R-Baltimore County), awaits a final vote.

 “I believe we have a lot of young people today that are Christian young people that would really like to pray and express their faith,” Metzger told WBAL-TV, a local NBC affiliate, adding, “It’s student-led, and by young people, so it’s not pressure on adults or coaches to force the issue. It’s all student-led.”