Taxes, religion and education -- this politically charged trifecta divided the Supreme Court on Wednesday in a case involving a state school choice program.
At issue is a lawsuit challenging Arizona's tax breaks for voluntary donations benefiting private school scholarships. The 13-year-old program provides dollar-for-dollar income tax breaks for money given to "school tuition organizations," or STOs.
Some Arizona taxpayers challenged the program as unconstitutional because, they say, not-for-profit religious organizations award most of the scholarships, and require children to enroll in religious schools. Those opponents say the state has effectively been funneling taxpayer money to religious schools through a third-party "front" group.
The justices appeared torn over whether that represented a de facto "endorsement" of religion by Arizona.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
If a single-payer health care system is such a good idea, why isn't a single-payer education system?