Montana parents sue over state's refusal to provide tuition assistance for Christian school

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Two Montana parents are suing the state schools superintendent over the agency's refusal to provide tuition assistance for their daughter to attend a Christian preschool.

Eric and Kelsi Wilson filed their lawsuit in U.S. District Court Thursday after an administrative hearing officer dismissed their complaint with the Office of Public Instruction.

Agency officials have cited federal regulations and a Montana Constitution clause that say education funds can't be used for religious instruction or to aid church-run schools.

The Wilsons, backed the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, say refusing to provide tuition assistance to attend a religious school is unconstitutional.

They say there is no public preschool program offered by Columbus Public Schools, so they decided to enroll their daughter in ABC-123 University, a nearby Christian preschool.

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