Legislation diverts money from public schools, allows for religious discrimination in hiring, and fails to keep federal funds from being used for religious indoctrination
WASHINGTON—On the same day the Senate passed legislation that cuts public education funding for the first time in a decade, it also voted to establish the first-ever national private school voucher program, as part of the final appropriations measure for the Department of Defense. With final approval in the House today, Congress has signed off on this dangerous measure, under the guise of one-time relief for students affected by this year’s hurricanes.
People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas voiced strong opposition to the voucher program, which, in addition to diverting funds from public schools, allows federally funded private schools to discriminate on the basis of religion while hiring teachers, and fails to protect against the use of federal funds for the religious indoctrination of students.
“The promise of a quality public education for every child is a cornerstone of our democracy, but private school vouchers divert money from public schools and undermine that promise. Most Americans oppose such voucher programs, which might be why this one was attached to a must-pass defense appropriations bill,” Neas said. “This program throws open the door to using taxpayer dollars to fund private schools. It also allows for government funding of religion and religious discrimination. We deeply regret its passage.”