School Choice

ACLU Opposes School Choice Program in New Hampshire

Sues over tax credit program for scholarships that might go to religious schools


Earlier today, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against New Hampshire's School Choice Scholarship Act of 2012, which offers tax credits worth 85% of corporate donations to registered, non-profit scholarship organizations that fund low- and middle-income students attending non-public or home schools. The ACLU argues that since parents can use the scholarships at religious schools, the law violates two provisions of New Hampshire's constitution: the historically anti-Catholic "Blaine Amendment" and the "compelled support" clause. Fortunately, similar scholarship tax credit (STC) laws have withstood every legal challenge thus far, including in states with very similar constitutional provisions.

The Blaine Amendment reads: "no money raised by taxation shall ever be granted or applied for the use of the schools or institutions of any religious sect or denomination." What complicates matters for opponents of the program is that, unlike voucher programs, STC programs do not rely on "public money" or "money raised by taxation"

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  1. From the link:
    “As respondents note, however, no money ever enters the state’s control as a result of this tax credit.”

    A tax “credit” is not a gift. Taxes are moneys taken by force from citizens; any “credit” is simply a taking that did not occur.
    Calling those amounts “credits” is like calling the money left in your wallet when you get home as a “credit” against the mugging that didn’t happen.
    Pretty sure if you used some of that as a religious donation tomorrow, no on is going to claim a mugging “credit” was spent on religion.
    ACLU blows big on this one.

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