One of the major backers of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s expansive private school voucher program was Rev. Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum, who also endorsed Jindal’s plan to exempt private schools receiving vouchers from participating “in the state testing and accountability program imposed on traditional and charter public schools.” Private schools receiving vouchers under the program, the vast majority of which are religious schools, are free from the requirement to have their students pass state exams to advance to the next grade level and won’t even receive state letter grades meant to evaluate student performance. Through the voucher program, Mills may finally get his wish of teaching creationism in schools as many of the voucher schools teach “bible-based math” and creationism in place of evolution, using the Loch Ness Monster as proof, all with taxpayer funding.
Mills is so close to the governor that he even prayed over Jindal at his organization’s Christmas Gala:
Just in case you need even more evidence that Louisiana’s voucher program was more about financing religious schools than improving student performance, Mills told David Barton and Rick Green today on WallBuilders Live that the program will increase student exposure to “religious material” and “release the Word of God” to children.
And who is rallying the opposition from the “teachers unions and the government bureaucrats”? Why, Satan of course. “There is no doubt it’s going to have its impact and it’s going to hit its target and it’s going to strike fast, and that’s why the Enemy is kicking back,” Mills said, “He realizes what’s going to happen when all of the sudden these kids come into a knowledge unlike their former secular humanist seminary, they are being rooted and grounded in foundational and fundamental, timeless principles that can change a person’s eternity.”
Mills: I think one of the undercurrents that you can’t see but it was one of the reasons that the Louisiana Family Forum weighed in so heavily, is that it has the effect—the further you get away from those options we talked about a moment ago, away from public school, away from the public charter school, away from the public virtual school, and into the private or parochial school—it has the effect of removing the federal court’s jurisdiction from decisions that are made in how that school operates and/or is governed.
For those of us who have a faith background, the idea that the truth can still set kids free, can you imagine what would happen if you uncapped religious clubs, religious speech, student body prayer, religious material, as is the case in most private or parochial schools.
Green: You hit the nail on the head with this because isn’t that the real underlying challenge in America right now? Because, we’ve had now several generations come through an education system void of values, where right and wrong aren’t taught, anything goes, everything is OK, you and up with a society like this. You get half these kids going through a school system where there is a set of values, where there is a right and wrong. It’s not just reading, writing and arithmetic they’re gonna do better, they’re gonna become better people.
Mills: That’s exactly right. I don’t even know if the governor, who is a person friend of mine and we’ve worked closely on this, fully comprehends how imperative or how essential that component is. When you remove the federal courts and you release the power of the word of God, there is no doubt it’s going to have its impact and it’s going to hit its target and it’s going to strike fast, and that’s why the Enemy is kicking back. He realizes what’s going to happen when all of the sudden these kids come into a knowledge unlike their former secular humanist seminary, they are being rooted and grounded in foundational and fundamental, timeless principles that can change a person’s eternity. They will be equipped, and they’ll be educated along the way too, but they’ll be filled with character capable of making insightful decisions towards the future.
I gotta tell you, that’s one of the reasons I believe that what the governor has called the ‘coalition of the status quo’ has raised so many points of opposition, they want to divert attention from their chronic failure throughout the years and they also want to divert attention from what has fundamentally taken place, in Louisiana we’re separating child and state and it’s resulted in traumatic stress amongst the teachers unions and the government bureaucrats but it’s a healthy thing.
The House today voted to reimpose a costly school voucher program in the District of Columbia. The program, which stopped accepting new students in 2009, was found by the Department of Education to be ineffective at raising student achievement. Its reinstatement, which would cost federal taxpayers $100 million over five years, is opposed by DC’s elected leadership, including the city’s mayor and nonvoting delegate in Congress.
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.
During his speech today at the NAACP’s annual convention, John McCain reiterated his support of taxpayer funded vouchers to send children to religious and other private schools. People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, "John McCain is trying to score points with his right wing base, and he’s doing it at the expense of children. It’s bad enough that these voucher schemes are designed to undermine the separation of church and state."
People For the American Way Foundation, along with a group of allies, today filed suit on behalf of six Florida voters to prevent two proposed state constitutional amendments from appearing on the November ballot. The proposed amendments would pave the way for sending public monies to religious and other private schools.
The Arizona Court of Appeals today rejected publicly funded voucher schemes that send taxpayer money to religious and other private schools. People For the American Way, along with a group of allies, sued the state in 2006, pointing to clear language in the Arizona Constitution that forbids appropriating public money in aid of "private or sectarian schools."
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.
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reflected in order to care for all children. The decisions we make today about the best way to
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