Your Money's Good Here, It's You That's the Problem

The Douglas County School District in Colorado plans to implement a new voucher program in the coming school year. Up to 500 district students will be "counted" as public school students for the purpose of obtaining state funding, but the funding will actually go to the private schools that participating students will attend. Any student is qualified to participate, as long as he or she can gain admission to an approved "Private School Partner." That shouldn't be a problem — unless the student is gay, HIV-positive, non-Christian, or just doesn't go to church every Sunday.

Of the 19 private schools participating in the voucher program, 14 of them are religious institutions. Of the five that are not religious, only three are open to all types of students, and none of those teaches past the eighth grade. Once the religious schools have the taxpayer money from the program, they are free to do as they please with it.

For example, several of the approved Private School Partners don't admit students who don't have Christian parents. At least one holds regular prayer in the classrooms. Another charges higher tuition to students who aren't Catholic. Yet another teaches creationism. Many of the schools require their students to attend religious services during school. Many of the schools also discriminate in hiring, turning away teachers who aren't churchgoing Christians. The discrimination isn't limited to religious grounds: one school considers homosexuality a cause for terminating employment, and another permits a team appointed by the school superintendent to recommend whether to admit, deny or withdraw an HIV-positive student.

Parents have the right to send their children to any school, public or private, but the use of taxpayer funds for religious education and discrimination is blatantly unconstitutional.

The ACLU, along with other civil liberties organizations, is challenging the Douglas County School District's voucher plan. You can read more about the facts of the case and our lawsuit here.

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Anonymous

Those "taxpayer funds" are being used by the taxpayer. Denying the parents the right to choose what to do with the money that they, the taxpayer, has returned to them by the state is a violation; little different from mandating how one spends their Net pay.
At what point did we as a country forget that it is OUR money, OUR choice, OUR freedom.

Anonymous

Taxpayer money.... the voucher goes to a parent, who is a taxpayer. They are getting back the money they have spent in taxes for education and deciding themselves what to do with it. Why shouldn't they spend it at any school they wish?
What's next, telling govt employees that since they are paid by the state, then they aren't allowed to tithe?

3arls

So give vouchers to everyone and a list of schools to choose from. Better yet, why give money to the Government simple to be returned in the first place? Let's just abandon public education and privatize it all. Public school is a bit too social. ism. I mean look, as long as you learn somewhere the Earth isn't 6,000 years old or whatever the story is, you're already way ahead of someone who paid to be lied to.

Tom

Anonymous, the problem is that you have to meet the school's discriminatory standards to get back your money. A taxpaying non-Christian cannot get a voucher because the school won't admit their child. The private school cannot make the decision of who gets public money.

Tom

Also, government employees will always be allowed to tithe to the church of their choice. Once the state has paid the employee his wages, that is now the employee's private money to do with as he pleases.

Anonymous

Maybe because nearly every option is a religious indoctrination center rather than an educational institution, and people with minority views will be forced to use their taxpayer money to fund these groups, while these groups will be free to discriminate against them in any way they please? Look up "tyranny of the majority" and you'll see why our FFathers strictly prohibited a merging of church and state, then maybe you'll get it.

Anonymous

So you would rather give children a poor education in a potentially unsafe school than give them a good education in a safe school if they could possibly be "contaminated" by the evils of religion? I'm so glad you have our childrens' best interests at heart!

Rangler

THX that's a great awnesr!

roald

anon 6, I would rather use the money to give all children a good education in a safe school.

Why is it OK for the children of atheists, gays, and other "undesirables" to be forced to attend those unsafe, ineffective schools from which you want to save the good Christian children?

Would you feel the same way if a Muslim private school was the only alternative to a dangerous, sub-standard public school?

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