Monday, April 11, 2011

U.S. top court rules in favour of religious education

Residents have right to claim tax credit on donations

U.S. Supreme Court has ruled April 4 that Arizona residents have a right to claim tax credit for  donations to non-profit groups that provide scholarships to religious schools.

“Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children,” attorney David Cortman of the Alliance Defense Fund said. “This ruling empowers parents to do just that.”

The court ruled 5 - 4 to dismiss a lawsuit backed by the American Civil Liberties Union  against an Arizona program that sought to promote school choice.

The conflict was over a 1997 government tax credit program that a allowed taxpayers to donate money towards a variety of private scholarship foundations, rather than paying the same amount to the government through taxes. The a group of citizens claimed that this program amounted to a state establishment of religion. The Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization (ACSTO) argued on the opposite side.

ACSTO is a non-profit groups that gives scholarships to more than 27,000 students attending hundreds of private schools throughout the state.

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