The Senate today rejected an amendment that would have continued sending taxpayer money to the District of Columbia school voucher program. The legislation, which was not reviewed by any Senate committee, was defeated by a vote of 58 to 39.
"Congress deserves an A-plus for this decision," said People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert. "School vouchers have always been about ideology, not education," said Kolbert.
In 1987, God reportedly told David Barton, a one-time science teacher at a fundamentalist Christian school that grew out of a church started by his own parents, that he was “to search the library and find the date that prayer had been prohibited in public schools [and] obtain a record of national SAT scores … spanning several decades.” Predictably, the result of Barton’s unscientific study was to find a “correlation” between the alleged banning of prayer and a decrease in SAT scores, as well as increases in everything from alcohol consumption to crimes rates across the nation.
In early 2004, Congress passed, and President Bush signed into law, an omnibus appropriations act that also created a new federally-funded school voucher program in the District of Columbia, the first such federally-funded voucher program in the country.
Today, governmental responsibilities in education and the strong connection that
Americans have with their public schools are being put to a serious test. A network of Religious Right groups, free-market economists, ultraconservative columnists and others are using vouchers as a vehicle to achieve their ultimate goal of privatizing education.
This report examines the increasingly sophisticated strategies that creationists use in an effort to inject their ideas into public school science curricula
The Religious Right continues to target public schools in a variety of ways that disrupt education and threaten religious liberty, according to a report released by People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). The report provides an in-depth analysis of the struggle over the future of our public education system by focusing on six categories: creationism; textbook controversies; sexuality education; religion and public schools; anti-gay activity and censorship.
Punishing Success: The Governor's Proposed Education Budget in Wisconsin and the SAGE and Voucher Programs
Over the past 11 months, the school voucher movement has suffered one major political setback after another. Last November, Michigan and California became the latest states in which voters decisively defeated voucher initiatives. This spring, the Wisconsin Legislature refused to support a proposal to significantly expand the Milwaukee voucher plan—the nation’s longest-running, publicly funded voucher program.
This report details widespread, significant constitutional violations uncovered by People For the American Way Foundation in its year-long investigation into the teaching of “Bible History” classes in Florida’s public high schools. An examination of the written instructional materials provided by the school districts themselves found that the courses were taught from a Christian, generally Fundamentalist Protestant, perspective. Typically, the courses presented the Bible as a history textbook, assumed that students were Christian, and used the Bible to promote Christian faith formation.