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Christian School Parents Say State Is Biased

TACOMA (CN) - Christian parents are suing the state of Washington because their disabled children must go to public campuses for special education. Bucking a century of law on the separation of church and state, they say that a law that prohibits state spending on religious institutions is motivated by "anti-religious animus."

The plaintiffs say there is no "compelling or even legitimate" justification for the rules, which they claim are motivated by feelings against religion and "anti-Catholic sentiment."

Three families with kids at Lynden Christian School say their children are forced to travel to "nonsectarian" locations for tutoring, speech therapy and other services. They sued the state superintendent of public instruction, claiming the policy violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

In 2007, Washington reregulated special education at public and private schools, but not at religious schools.

The plaintiffs are represented by the Washington chapter of the Institute for Justice.

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