PORTLAND, Maine - The U.S. Department of Justice is backing families who are suing to force the state of Maine to pay tuition for some students to attend religious high schools.
The "Statement of Interest'' filed Monday supports a lawsuit that targets the state's longstanding tuition policy for students in school districts that don't have a high school. In those cases, the state will pay for tuition to a private school, but not a religious school.
Three families in Glenburn and Palermo sued in U.S. District Court to force the state to pay for their children to attend Bangor Christian Schools and Temple Academy.
The DOJ has filed several similar actions around the country following an executive order "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty'' by President Donald Trump.