President Trump on Friday threatened the tax-exempt status of and funding for universities and colleges, claiming that “too many” schools are driven by “radical left indoctrination.”
“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,” Trump tweeted. “Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!”
Trump did not name specific institutions whose tax-exempt status he wants the Treasury Department to review. Most private and public colleges and universities are exempt from taxes because they qualify as 501(c)(3) organizations.
It would fall to the IRS, a bureau of the Treasury Department, to conduct the review that Trump described. However, federal law prohibits the IRS from targeting groups for regulatory scrutiny “based on their ideological beliefs.”
Trump’s latest remarks come amid his escalating battle over schools’ plans for learning during the coronavirus pandemic. The president has sought to pressure schools to physically reopen come fall, even suggesting he could withhold federal funding from those that do not comply with his demands.