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Michigan Supreme Court puts temporary hold on case about public funding for private schools

School desks
Flickr user Frank Juarez/Flickr

The Michigan Supreme Court is postponing oral argumentsin a case about whether spending taxpayer money on non-public schools violates the Michigan constitution. 

Public school groups and the ACLU of Michigan filed suit over state reimbursements to non-public schools for the costs of state-imposed health and safety requirements. They say the Michigan constitution forbids direct or indirect state support of private or religious schools.

The case had been scheduled for oral argument next month.

But the Michigan Supreme Court wants to wait until after  the U.S Supreme Court issues its decision in another case, Espinoza v Montana Dep't of Revenue,  involving taxpayer money and religious schools. A decision is expected in that case by the end of June.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Steven Markman dissented. He said whether the 2016 state funding measure is "ultimately sustained or nullified, it is long overdue that the highest court of this state finally decide this matter so that the product of our representative process is no longer held in limbo."

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Virginia Gordan has been a part-time reporter at Michigan Radio since fall 2013. She has a general beat covering news topics from across the state.
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