A Maryland Case Asks: Should Some Private Schools Be Banned From Accessing Public Voucher Dollars?

In Education, Judiciary and Courts On
- Updated

Bethel Christian Academy in Howard County, Md., instructs students that “marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman.” When they arrive at the school’s campuses in and around the community of Savage, they are expected to dress and use facilities according to their “biological gender” because “God immutably bestows gender upon each person at birth as male or female to reflect His image.”

The school says it seeks to build “an authentic Christian learning community.” But should it get taxpayer dollars to support its efforts?

That’s one of the questions before a federal court in a closely watched lawsuit that pits the private school against the state. The board of Maryland’s private school voucher program, which gives public dollars to low-income families who seek to send their children to private school, ruled in 2018 that Bethel could no longer receive voucher dollars because language in its handbook violated the program’s nondiscrimination policy. It also told the school that it had to pay back the $100,000 in voucher dollars it had already received.

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