Washington, D.C. In response to the Arizona Education Association’s lawsuit, filed today to quash the state’s school tuition tax-credit program, the Institute for Justice announced that it will intervene on behalf of parents, children and taxpayers to preserve the program. The much-needed education reform measure, passed earlier this year and effective January 1, 1998, provides up to a $500 tax credit to individuals who donate money to scholarship organizations that then direct the funds to needy students.
“This lawsuit is an outrageous assault on desperately needed educational opportunities for low-income children,” said Clint Bolick, the Institute for Justice’s director of litigation. “We’re not surprised the Arizona Education Association is taking these steps to protect its monopoly stranglehold over public education.”
The Institute will file papers in court over the next two weeks on behalf of economically disadvantaged families who would benefit from the scholarship programs, as well as Arizona tax payers who plan to contribute to those programs. The Institute is currently defending similar educational opportunities in Wisconsin, Ohio, Vermont and Maine.
“This is a standard act of desperation by state affiliates of the National Education Association-an organization bent on destroying any and all meaningful school reform,” Bolick declared. “Just as NEA affiliates in Wisconsin and Ohio teamed up in court with liberal organizations to preserve their monopoly over education, the Arizona Education Association is following suit.”
The Institute for Justice advances a rule of law under which individuals control their destinies as free and responsible members of society. Through strategic litigation, training, and outreach, the Institute secures greater protection for individual liberty, challenges the scope and ideology of the Regulatory Welfare State, and illustrates and extends the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment of liberty is denied by government. The Institute was founded in September 1991 by William Mellor and Bolick.