A court ruled Thursday that city public schools can bar church groups from using school property for worship services.
The Court of Appeals reversed a 2012 lower court ruling that blocked the city from enforcing the ban.
The New York Civil Liberties Union applauded the decision, saying using a school for church activities violates the separation of church and state.
"Using a school regularly, taking it over as the permanent regular place of worship, is a constitutional problem, and we're pleased that the court has upheld the city's ban on that kind of activity in our schools," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
This is the latest chapter in a nearly two-decades-long lawsuit between the Department of Education and the Bronx Household of Faith, which originally challenged the ban.
The church's pastor vows to appeal the decision.