Students in New Hampshire may continue to receive taxpayer-funded scholarships to attend private schools, but only if those schools are not religious, according to a "precedent-setting" court decision that breaks from recent rulings by other states.
Yesterday, a judge ruled that New Hampshire's Education Tax Credit Program violates sections of the state constitution by using tax-raised funds to provide scholarships for private-school students. But unlike previous rulings in other states, which have either upheld or struck down such programs wholesale, the New Hampshire court preserved the portion of the program that provides scholarships for non-religious schools.
The program itself is still new, approved only in 2012. It "offers businesses an 85 percent tax credit for donations they made to organizations that fund tuition at religious and other private schools," the Washington Post reports.
As a result, lawyers for the state argued that the "money ...1