URGENT: Tell Your Senators to Oppose Taxpayer Funding for Religious Schools
March 21, 2013
Right now, the United States Senate is in the midst of debating its 2014 Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 8). On Friday evening, the Senate will begin final voting, at which point it will consider at least two amendments that would create a federal private school voucher program.
Sponsors of school voucher programs sell vouchers as a cure for our ailing education system. However, vouchers are actually a backdoor attempt to take money away from our shared public schools and funnel it to private schools — the vast majority of which are sectarian institutions that indoctrinate children with religious dogma and pseudoscience.
The Center for Inquiry (CFI) opposes school voucher programs and urges you to immediately contact your senators and tell them to vote “no” on any voucher amendments.
School voucher programs are a big problem. Why?
- They force taxpayers to fund religion. These programs take public funds away from public schools in order to fund private religious schools. This violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- They force taxpayers to fund the teaching of religious dogma. Private religious schools are not required to follow most state or federal education standards, so they can—and do—replace evidence-based curricula with faith-based religious tenets.
- They force taxpayers to fund religious discrimination. Since private religious schools don’t have to follow most standards, they can not only teach religious dogma, they can also discriminate in hiring and firing and ignore other standards designed to ensure equality in education.
- They force taxpayers to fund ineffective programs. Various studies by the Department of Education and other groups have found that school voucher programs do not necessarily improve academic achievement.
Instead of supporting private and religious schools, taxpayer money should be used to support and improve the public school system, which provides a religiously neutral, constitutionally sound, and evidence-based education.
Please contact your U.S. Senators today and tell them to reject any amendment that would create a school voucher program! Thank you!
You can read more about the problems with school vouchers by downloading our position paper here.