Prez threat­ens to pull tax ex­emp­tion for schools, col­leges

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD -

In his push to get schools and col­leges to re­open this fall, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is again tak­ing aim at their fi­nances, this time threat­en­ing their tax-ex­empt sta­tus.

Trump said on Twit­ter on Fri­day he was or­der­ing the Trea­sury De­part­ment to re­ex­am­ine the tax-ex­empt sta­tus of schools that he says pro­vide “rad­i­cal in­doc­tri­na­tion” in­stead of ed­u­ca­tion.

“Too many Uni­ver­si­ties and School Sys­tems are about Rad­i­cal Left In­doc­tri­na­tion, not Ed­u­ca­tion,” he tweeted. “There­fore, I am telling the Trea­sury De­part­ment to re-ex­am­ine their Tax-Ex­empt Sta­tus and/or Fund­ing, which will be taken away if this Pro­pa­ganda or Act Against Pub­lic Pol­icy con­tin­ues. Our chil­dren must be Ed­u­cated, not In­doc­tri­nated!”

The Repub­li­can pres­i­dent did not ex­plain what prompted the re­mark or which schools would be re­viewed. But the threat is just one more that Trump has is­sued against schools as he ratch­ets up pres­sure to get them to open this fall. Twice this week Trump threat­ened to cut fed­eral fund­ing for schools that don’t re­open, in­clud­ing in an ear­lier tweet on Fri­day.

It’s un­clear, how­ever, on what grounds Trump could have a school’s tax-ex­empt sta­tus ter­mi­nated. It was also not clear what Trump meant by “rad­i­cal in­doc­tri­na­tion” or who would de­cide what type of ac­tiv­ity that in­cludes. The White House and Trea­sury De­part­ment did not im­me­di­ately com­ment on the pres­i­dent’s mes­sage.

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