URGENT: Tell the Indiana Senate Education Committee to Reject Expansion of School Voucher Program
January 8, 2013
On Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at 1:30 p.m., the Indiana Senate Education and Career Development Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would expand the state school voucher program. The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is urging Indiana residents to contact their state Senator and voice opposition to this measure.
SB 184 (PDF), sponsored by Sen. Carlin Yoder (R-District 12), would eliminate certain requirements that children must meet to be eligible for the program. Yet the real problem is not the substance of this bill – it is that the program exists at all.
School voucher programs are problematic for three main reasons. First, they divert government funds from public schools to private religious schools, which forces taxpayers to support religion. CFI maintains that this violates the spirit, if not the letter of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Second, private religious schools are not always required to follow state or federal education standards. For example, they can teach religious dogma and discriminate in hiring and firing practices based on religion. Third, various studies by the Department of Education and other groups have found that school voucher programs do not necessarily improve academic achievement. You read CFI’s arguments against school voucher programs in more detail by downloading our position paper, which can be found here.
Instead of supporting private religious schools, taxpayer money should support the public school system, which provides a religiously
neutral, constitutionally sound, and democratic education that is available to all Americans.
The Senate Education and Career Development Committee consists of: Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-District 14), Sen. Carlin Yoder (R-District 12), Sen. Jim Banks (R-District 17), Sen. Jim Buck (R-District 21), Sen. Luke Kenley (R-District 20), Sen. Pete Miller (R-District 24), Sen. Jean Leising (R-District 42), Sen. Scott Schneider (R-District 30), Sen. Earline Rogers (D-District 3), Sen. John Broden (D-District 10), Sen. Frank Mrvan (D-Disctrict 1), and Sen. Greg Taylor (D-District 33).
If one of these Senators represents you, CFI implores you to contact him or her now and tell them that you oppose SB 184!
To email your Senator, click here. To find out who your Senator is click here.