AHA News |  

Arizona Shouldn't Use Tax Dollars to Fund Religious Education, Says the American Humanist Association

Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2010

The American Humanist Association filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court today asking the Court to affirm a lower court's decision that the Arizona statute that permits awarding taxpayer funded scholarships on the basis of religion violates the First Amendment.

A PDF of the amicus brief can be found here.

Arizona created a program in which dollar-for-dollar income tax credits are granted to individuals contributing to school tuition organizations (STOs). The STOs use the taxpayer funded donations to fund scholarships for students to attend private schools.

However, when awarding the scholarships, the statute permits STOs to specify which schools a recipient attends, thereby denying students true school choice. In recent years, over 80 percent of the scholarships dollars went to private religious schools.

"STOs should not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion in awarding taxpayer-funded scholarships," said Bob Ritter, staff attorney at the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, legal arm of the American Humanist Association.

The American Humanist Association argued in its amicus brief that because the STO program is a conduit for funding private education with tax dollars, the Arizona statute violates the First Amendment's prohibition against government establishment of religion to the extent scholarships are used to fund private religious education.

The amicus brief asks the Supreme Court to affirm the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that the scholarship program violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.

###

American Humanist Association

A fascinating article by activist Amanda Scott

1 hours ago

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association commissioned the Seidewitz Group to conduct a...

3 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Christianity and Humanism compared. . .

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday everyone!!! More comics at: http://hmn.st/1wOZhEE

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

On June 19, 2014, Amanda Scott testified before the Mobile, Alabama, County Com...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

This is a 5-minute video of students and parents gathered on the football field...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Caption this photo taken at the 2014 World Humanist Congress in Oxford, England...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

This video shows how some religious people react to homosexuality. When you put...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The newest issue of the Humanist Magazine is out! Take a look! Clay Farris Naff...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Jackson Public School District has agreed to cease including religious activ...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Dave Niose, Legal Director of the AHLC, has been featured on CBS46 in Atlanta, G...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanist Hour Podcast #113 out now! Jeremy Chappell talks about the “spiritu...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

This morning, the American Humanist Association issued a press release regarding...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Why are some of the poorest regions in America also the most religious? A new st...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Listen up D.C., Maryland, and Virginia Humanists! Want to meet local free-thinke...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

While vandalism may not be the technique I would use to express my views, some...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

In his new Huffington Post article, Roy Speckhardt discusses prejudice and the k...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Sonja Eggerickx, president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

We just got a nice donation from the AmazonSmile Foundation thanks to people lik...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association stands up for the rights of teachers of minori...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA Legislative Associate Matthew Bulger responds to some recent comments by U.S...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

We need more nontheistic politicians in the United States!

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday!! Here is a wonderful poem from Dan Moran. Check It Out!

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Well, I am not so sure how common this dilemma is, but it is interesting anyway!

11 days ago