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

Check out what the AHA staff is watching! http://thehumanist.com/arts_entertain...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here's another installment of Carl Coon’s ongoing “A Short History of Evolution”...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Five Non-Magic Words: “How Can I Help You?” Advancing the Humanist Chaplaincy h...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia C...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new affiliate, Deltona Humanist, to the American Humani...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Idaho Humanists, check out this Summer Day Camp for Kids! For more information...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out Executive Director Roy Speckhardt's new Huffpost article, Pandora's Bo...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Freedom from Religion in Kazakhstan: An Interview with Atheist Blogger Aleksand...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today is A. Philip Randolph's 125th birthday. He was the American Humanist Assoc...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Did you know about some of these official State Symbols? http://thehumanist.com...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanevangelist: Skyfall, Humanist Style by Clay Farris Naff. http://thehu...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Would you, or someone you know, be a good fit for the American Humanist Associat...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is an interesting letter to the editor of The Press Enterprise. http://www...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy 271st Birthday Thomas Jefferson! Read Jefferson's wall of separation lett...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Oh good so there are options... Happy Friday Everyone!! http://obscureinternet....

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Bible According to Thomas Jefferson. http://thehumanist.com/magazine/march...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

We are getting ready! Are you? Register today! http://conference.americanhumani...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Inheriting the Wind by Daniel Thomas Moran! http://thehumanist.com/arts_enterta...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday! What did the July/August, 1981 issue of the Humanist magazi...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Oh good! Now we can all relax... Science is here! Four Blood Moons: Total Lunar...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out this info-graph from the Public Religion Research Institute. http://...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Rules Are for Schmucks: House Rules. By Luis Granados http://thehumanist.com/ne...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Another installment of Carl Coon's A Short History of Evolution. This week's top...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA's Matthew Bulger reports from On The Hill. http://thehumanist.com/news/nati...

9 days ago