Dear MANS Member Schools, Staff, Colleagues, and Friends:

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

”It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” — Winston Churchill, on the floor of Parliament in November 1947.

Timeless quotes about the importance of making sure your voice is heard … it is of upmost importance that you exercise your civic duty and vote on November 6th. It is a great lesson for students when the adults in their lives take the time to vote in elections. We are fortunate to live in a participatory democracy and should never take for granted the opportunity we have to shape public policy and the law.

Faith-based and other private schools received some positive news a few weeks ago when the Michigan Court of Appeals (COA) overturned an earlier ruling by the Court of Claims that held that reimbursements to private schools for state health and safety mandates were unconstitutional.

The COA remanded the case back to the Court of Claims and required it to look at each health and safety mandate individually to see if it passed a three part test, and if it did, then reimbursing schools for the time and effort in compliance is within the confines of Michigan’s Constitution and therefore allowable. That three part test looks like this for each individual mandate:

  • at most, merely incidental to teaching and providing educational services to private
    school students (non-instructional in nature),
  • does not constitute a primary function or element necessary for a nonpublic school
    to exist, operate, and survive
  • does not involve or result in excessive religious entanglement.

There is still an opportunity for the Plaintiffs in this case to appeal the COA decision to the Michigan Supreme Court. The COA ruling is a major victory for private schools in Michigan as it provides a framework or guidance for future courts to use when analyzing whether a legislative appropriation for nonpublic schools is legitimate.

MANS Executive Director