House Votes to Funnel Taxpayer Dollars to Religious Schools in D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted 225 to 195 to approve legislation that would reauthorize and expand the Washington, D.C. federal private school voucher pilot program, under which millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are funneled toward private religious schools that preach religious dogma and can discriminate against staff and students. The Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act will now head to the U.S. Senate.


    “This legislation is a blatant violation of the separation of church and state,” said Sean Faircloth, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America. “The D.C. voucher program uses millions of American taxpayer dollars to fund the religious training of thousands of District students who attend private, religious institutions that do not offer students an op-out option and are exempt from federal civil rights laws.”
    More than 80 percent of students in the D.C. voucher program attend private religious schools, which, under this program, are allowed to discriminate in hiring and enrollment on the basis of religion.
    “Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize religious proselytizing and discrimination,” Faircloth said. “We urge the U.S. Senate to reject this legislation on the grounds that it is unjust and unconstitutional.” 
    On Feb. 10, the Secular Coalition for American submitted testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Workforce committee outlining its objections to the D.C. voucher program. You can read the entire letter here: http://www.secular.org/11/2-10/House-ESEA-Hearing-Letter
     President Obama strongly opposes the D.C. voucher program, according to a White House statement issued Tuesday.
     The Secular Coalition for America is a 501 c(4) organization that serves as the national lobby for atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheistic Americans. Composed of ten diverse member organizations, SCA works to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. For more information, please visit www.secular.org.

 

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