Experts Support Arizona Choice Program

Published March 1, 2008

“The important facts have not changed since the Arizona Supreme Court found the Arizona scholarship tax program just fine nearly a decade ago.

“The Arizona scholarship tax credit program is not the sort of thing you would expect Chief Justice Roberts and Milton Friedman to have any real disagreement about, save for whether tax credits or vouchers are more suited for the job.”
Don Soifer
Education Analyst
The Lexington Institute

“Instead of recognizing the tremendous educational opportunities that Arizona’s school choice programs have created for thousands of children, the American Civil Liberties Union just continues its misguided quest to force those children back into the public schools that failed them.

“Both the Arizona Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States have already rejected the arguments the plaintiffs are pushing. Arizona’s Supreme Court held that it’s no constitutional violation for governments to allow people to use their own money to help kids attend better schools. Likewise, the U.S. Supreme Court clearly ruled that the Constitution does not forbid parents from choosing to use scholarships at religious schools.

“Courts should never interfere when the government gives people an opportunity to use their own hard-earned money to make life better for someone else.

“As the Arizona Supreme Court has already held in this case, nothing in the Constitution prevents parents from using privately funded scholarships to send their children to the best available schools–even if those schools happen to be operated by religious groups.

“This case is about far more than the survival of Arizona’s Tax Credit Scholarship programs. If the Ninth Circuit somehow accepts the plaintiffs’ absurd logic, its decision could threaten to cut off the educational lifeline these scholarships have provided for tens of thousands of disadvantaged children nationwide.”
Dave Roland
Education and Legal Policy Analyst
The Show-Me Institute

“After eight years and numerous losses in court, the outcome is certain; tax credits will be upheld as constitutional.

“Tax credits have been upheld in numerous state court cases and by the U.S. Supreme Court in Mueller v. Allen.

“In the 2002 Zelman v. Simmons-Harris decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a more credible challenge to the [Cleveland] voucher program made on similar First Amendment grounds. The case against tax credits is astonishingly flimsy.

“This latest suit is a sad act of desperation by the ACLU, which should devote its resources to issues more worthy than denying children the opportunity to attend good schools.”
Adam B. Schaeffer
Education Policy Analyst
Cato Institute

“The Alliance for School Choice strongly believes that the court should side with Arizona’s families in reaffirming the constitutionality of the state’s popular, effective Individual School Tuition Tax Credit Program. It would be an outrage for the court to force thousands of disadvantaged children from their schools.

“The fact that establishment special interests have spent eight years and untold hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to destroy the hopes and opportunities of so many families is indeed revealing. It’s time to end the stream of frivolous special-interest litigation, which only serves to frighten parents into thinking that the dreams they hold for their children might be snatched away.”
Charles R. Hokanson
Alliance for School Choice