A federal appeals court has revived a challenge to Arizona’s decade-old income-tax credit for donations for private school scholarships, ruling that the program could be unconstitutional by favoring religion.
The San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled April 21 that plaintiffs challenging the 1997 state tax-credit law have enough of a case to proceed. The decision overturns a ruling by a trial judge who had dismissed the case.
The challenge filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona contends the tax credit violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against a government establishment of religion. The Arizona Supreme Court upheld the tax-credit law in a 1999 decision based on how the statute was written.
A version of this article appeared in the April 29, 2009 edition of Education Week