Supreme Court playground ruling feeds school voucher debate

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other proponents of school voucher programs are praising a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said a Lutheran church was wrongly denied a state grant for its preschool playground. But opponents say the ruling is far from an endorsement of the use of public money for religious schools.

The court, by a 7-2 vote, sided with Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri. It sought a state grant for a soft surface on its preschool playground.

DeVos says that as a result of the decision programs designed to help students will no longer be discriminated against by the government based solely on religious affiliation.

But American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten says the ruling “cannot be read” as clearing the way for an expansion of vouchers.