Wisconsin State Journal | DOJ won’t represent state education agency in lawsuit, but Scott Walker blocking use of outside counsel

“St. Augustine School in Hartford and parents of students who attend the school are suing DPI and the Freiss Lake School District.

The parents, who are represented by conservative legal group Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, allege in their suit that the Freiss Lake School District and DPI are denying the parents’ First Amendment rights and are violating their right to exercise religion by not providing transportation for their children to school.

State law requires public school districts to provide transportation to private school students, but only to one school per religious denomination in an attendance area.”

“CJ Szafir, an attorney representing the parents, said based on a former Supreme Court decision, the law requires the DPI to only look at a school’s articles of incorporation to determine a school’s affiliation. Those articles describe the school as a private school governed independently of any denomination. He said it’s against the law for DPI to define “Catholic” because the articles of incorporation do not describe the school that way.

“This case will come down to what kind of inquiry the government can use to determine whether two private schools are affiliated with one another,” said Szafir.”

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