Senate OKs Education Relief Bill Including Troubling Voucher Mechanism


Contact: Josh Glasstetter at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

But resoundingly rejects creation of more explicit voucher scheme

Today the Senate passed by voice vote an education relief package for victims of hurricane Katrina that includes a funding mechanism for private and religious schools that could set a dangerous voucher precedent, and defeated 31-68 a more explicit voucher program promoted by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV). People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas released the following statement on the Senate action:

“People For the American Way shares and commends senators’ desire to provide urgently needed relief to all the students affected by the hurricane and its aftermath. It is unfortunate and disappointing that the legislation approved by the Senate creates a new mechanism for sending federal dollars to private schools that voucher proponents are likely to try to exploit as a precedent for even more far-reaching efforts in the future.”

“We welcome the resounding bipartisan rejection of efforts to create an even more damaging voucher system. And we will encourage clear oversight by the Senate to ensure not only that this is truly a one-time only program but also that private and religious schools are held accountable for their use of public funds, and that this relief is not used to subsidize discrimination or otherwise undermine core constitutional principles.”