Foundation for Educational Choice praises High Court’s Arizona decision
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Published: 05-Apr-2011

The Foundation for Educational Choice lauded a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday (April 4) to throw out a challenge to the Arizona Tax Credit Program and called it another step toward educational freedom.
 
Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Foundation, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, said the decision reinforces the notion that parents are the primary decision makers and have the ultimate choice where to educate their children. The court threw out a challenge to the tax credit program, saying the plaintiffs had no standing because they were not forced to participate in a tax credit program.
 
In 2002 in Zelman vs. Simmons-Harris, the Supreme Court ruled that vouchers were constitutional based on a Cleveland voucher program that was challenged all the way to the nation's highest court.
 
This case brought by the Arizona ACLU challenged a tax credit program that gives Arizona parents choices other than their neighborhood public schools.
 
"The Arizona Tax Credit Program --- like tax credit programs in many states -- gives individuals the right to contribute their own money to scholarship organizations that offer kids school choice," Enlow said. "The Supreme Court today clearly said that individuals should have the right to contribute to any tax-free scholarship program just as they would contribute to the Red Cross, a homeless shelter or any other charity."
 
Arizona residents may contribute to Student Tuition Organizations can claim a dollar-for-dollar credit up to $500, and married couples filing jointly may claim up to $1,000. STOs are privately-run, no-profit organizations that offer private school scholarships. The tax credit program also allows individuals to claim up to $200 per individual and $400 per couple for contributing to a public school for extracurricular activities or character education programs.
 
In 2009, 27,582 students earned scholarships averaging $1,889 in Arizona, thanks to the tax credit program.
 
"With the Supreme Court ruling today, we should see more of these tax credit programs emerge throughout the country," Enlow said. "And this has been a year for school choice. Legislatures are embracing tax credit programs and vouchers, and this ruling should encourage even more of this educational choice."
 
In its literature, the Foundation for Educational Choice is described as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, solely dedicated to advancing Milton and Rose Friedman's vision of school choice for all children. First established as the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation in 1996, the foundation continues to promote school choice as the most effective and equitable way to improve the quality of K-12 education in America. The Foundation is dedicated to research, education, and outreach on the vital issues and implications related to choice and competition in K-12 education.

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