Facts About Vouchers

Vouchers and Religious Discrimination

As noted above, voucher programs that include religious schools result in public funding of religious discrimination. In addition:

  • Fully 86% of the central city religious schools surveyed in 22 cities across the nation would not participate in a voucher program if they were required to allow voucher students exemptions from religious instruction or activities. These schools account for almost 80% of the available seats in the religious schools surveyed. Christian Schools International explained that: “[a]lmost all our schools would not allow the exemption because every class is permeated with a Christian religious viewpoint.”9
  • Voucher initiatives defeated in Michigan and California in November 2000 illustrate the ongoing concerns about voucher programs’ facilitating religious discrimination. For example, in Michigan, prior to the defeat of the voucher referendum, several private schools announced they would reject voucher students who were Jewish, who didn’t accept Jesus Christ as their savior, or who were not practicing Christians.10 In a survey done by the Flint Journal of area schools, all religious schools responded that any students they accept would be required to participate in all programs and prayer services. “They are sending their children to a Catholic school where we teach values and morals and how to become a good Christian person,” said one principal. “If they don’t want those things taught then don’t send them here.”11
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