Members of Congress Want to Cripple Public Education to Fund Religious Schools. Tell Them to Stop!
March 6, 2014
Over the past several weeks, members of Congress have introduced a flurry of bills that would privatize nearly all federal funds for K-12 schooling — and, at this very moment, the bills are picking up co-sponsors and political momentum.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-KY) and Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) recently introduced a bill (S. 1968 / H.R. 4000) that would turn a whopping 63 percent of federal education funding into vouchers for private schools. Because the vast majority of private schools are religious, money that would otherwise go to secular, public education will be diverted to support instruction in religious dogma. To make matters worse, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) proposed a bill (S. 1909) to allow the rest of those funds — which currently subsidize school lunches, serve students with disabilities, and support students attending schools on federally impacted land or military bases — to be converted into school vouchers.
Together, these bills would turn nearly all federal education funding into vouchers. This means your taxpayer dollars would fund sectarian institutions that are not subject to state or federal education standards.
Converting the overwhelming majority of our education funding to school vouchers would have a devastating effect on children living in poverty, who are the primary beneficiaries of this taxpayer money. And while advocates of school voucher programs sell them as a cure for our ailing education system, they are nothing more than a backdoor attempt to defund our shared public schools and funnel the money to religious schools — the majority of which discriminate in enrollment and employment, and indoctrinate students with religious-based teachings and pseudoscience.
Study after study has shown that vouchers do not help students and families. Instead of supporting private and religious schools, taxpayer money must be used to support and improve the public school system, which provides a religiously neutral, constitutionally sound, and evidence-based education for all students.