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“Parochiaid” case argued before MI Court of Claims

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A Michigan Court of Claims judge heard arguments on Monday, whether a state appropriation for private schools is legal.

The issue is an appropriation adopted by the Legislature in 2016 and signed by then-Governor Rick Snyder. It was to reimburse parochial and private schools for the costs of complying with state health and safety mandates.

The legal challenge says that violated the state constitution, which bars public funds going to non-public schools. Assistant Attorney General Neil Giovanatti defended the budget item.

“The appropriations under the statute at issue here are intended for the public purpose of protecting the health, safe and welfare of children in non-public schools.”

Judge Cynthia Stephens says she plans to rule by early December so the case can move on the Michigan Court of Appeals and, possibly, the state Supreme Court.