Voucher programs threaten civil rights protections

Voucher programs effectively eliminate most civil rights protections for students by placing them, with federal money, in private schools not bound by all federal civil rights laws. Sectarian schools, for example, are allowed to discriminate based upon religion. Additionally, all private schools may discriminate based upon disability, gender, English language proficiency and academic performance. This, in fact, is why most private schools were created – to be able to select which students would attend their school. This is vastly different from the public school concept in which all students are accepted and parents and students have legal recourse against the schools in the event of discrimination. Private schools can simply take the federal voucher money and subsequently expel the student without any explanation. For all intents and purposes, no accountability for federal funds or protections for the parent and student are provided.

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