Public dollars should go to public schools that teach an evidence-based, secular curriculum.
The public school system is a bedrock of American society, providing a pluralistic, democratic, and accountable education to millions of children. School voucher schemes take taxpayer funding from public schools, which serve roughly 90% of all students, to send a select few students to private, usually religious, schools. Indeed, 76% of private schools in America are religiously affiliated, which means taxpayer dollars for private schools are usually helping to fund religious education.
There are many reasons to oppose school voucher schemes. First, they violate the separation
of church and state by providing taxpayer support for sectarian religious education. Second,
they fund discriminatory practices, as private and religious schools are not held to the same
nondiscrimination standards as public schools, and can refuse admission to students based on religion — including refusing admission to students of LGBT or nontheistic families. Third, they don’t work. As numerous studies have found, voucher programs such as those in D.C. and Louisiana, have not improved student test scores. And, in doing so, they drain public schools of important resources.
The Secular Coalition for America believes that public dollars should go to public schools. Taxpayer money should never be used to fund religious education.
I won’t belabor the Supreme Court cases I’ve been highlighting recently, but I will mention them; they show a new line of thinking about individual religious freedom that will have an ongoing impact i…