Tell Your New York State Lawmakers: No Taxpayer Money for Religious Schools

March 26, 2014

Catholic schools in New York State are ailing, and the most powerful bishop in the United States is lobbying for taxpayers to bail them out to the tune of $300 million per year. If you care about this issue, now is the time to speak out.

In the midst of debate on the state budget leading up to the April 1 deadline, some New York lawmakers are pushing to include the “Education Investment Tax Credit Act”, a measure which would provide up to $1 million in tax credits to people and corporations that give money to privately run charter schools and religious schools.

The lead lobbyist for this measure is none other than Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, who is arguing that the state government has a duty to support Catholic schools.

This is nothing more than a backdoor attempt to use tax dollars, intended for public schools, to support private and sectarian religious schools. Not only does this constitute a violation of church-state separation — religious schools teach pseudoscience, indoctrinate students with religious dogma, can and do reject many applicants, and hire and fire based on religion — but it would also cause untold harm to the education of children in New York’s public schools for years to come. Public schools are already strapped for resources; sending public money to private and religious schools will only make the situation worse.

Private and religious schools have every right to operate independently, but they do not have the right to taxpayer support. Instead of supporting private and religious schools, taxpayer money should be used to operate and improve the public school system, which provides a religiously neutral, constitutionally sound, and evidence-based education.

The Center for Inquiry urges you to immediately contact your state lawmakers and tell them oppose this measure.

Speak out now!