For fifty years, Michigan’s Constitution has strictly prohibited taxpayer funding of private and religious schools. However, in 2016 the legislature appropriated $2.5 million to “reimburse” private and parochial schools for complying with legal requirements that apply to all schools in Michigan.
In 2017 the ACLU of Michigan formed a coalition with public school administrators, teachers, and parents to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the funding, arguing that the appropriation should be struck down because it violates the state constitutional requirement that reserves public education funding exclusively for public schools.
In 2018 the Michigan Court of Claims ruled in our favor, declared the statute unconstitutional, and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the state from funding private schools. The state appealed, and the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed by a vote of 2-1. We then appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court, which announced in June 2019 that it would take the case.
(Council of Organizations & Others for Education About Parochiaid (CAP) v. Michigan; ACLU Attorney Dan Korobkin; co-counsel Jeffrey Donahue and Andrew Gordon of White Schneider, and Brandon Hubbard, Phillip DeRosier and Ariana Pellegrino of Dickinson Wright.)