States Can Give Tax Credits For Education Expenses, Including Religious Schools

1983

In Mueller v. Allen, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a Minnesota law that offers a tax credit to families for their children’s education expenses, including tuition, textbooks and transportation. Since many of the families were taking the tax credit for expenses related to religious education, advocates challenged the law as a violation of the First Amendment’s mandate to separate church and state. The Court says that because the credit is made available to any family for educational expenses and not specifically targeted to those families sending their children to private, religious schools, there is no constitutional violation.