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High court to hear Arizona school case

The Supreme Court says it will consider ending a lawsuit that challenges Arizona’s tax breaks for donations for private school scholarships.

The court on Monday said it will hear an appeal filed by the state and supporters of the 13-year-old program that provides dollar-for-dollar income tax breaks for donations to school tuition organizations.

Some Arizona taxpayers challenged the program as unconstitutional because religious organizations award most of the scholarships and require children to enroll in religious schools. The suit says the program amounts to an unconstitutional state endorsement of religion.

The federal appeals court in San Francisco last year ruled that the lawsuit could proceed.

In 2002, the Supreme Court upheld school voucher programs. Supporters of the Arizona aid program say it is no different from the Cleveland program upheld in 2002 because in both cases, government does not direct any money to religious schools.

The court will hear argument in the fall.

The cases are Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, 09-987, and Garriott v. Winn, 09-991.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

3 comments

  1. I do not agree that religion classes would harm a student in a private school. The tax break for the parent would help them get a better education for their children than having them go to a public school where they would have to deal with many disruptions such as gangs and poor attendance. Most schools run by private funds teach a basic education that will give a boy or girl a better chance to get into college.

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