Saturday, January 17, 2015

Stop diverting public funds to faith-based private schools

by  Edd Doer

Wall St Journal on Jan 8 ran a piece titled “Letting Education and Religion Overlap”, by Robert Maranto and Dirk  van Raemdonck, pushing school vouchers. Below is my response. The best way to obtain the article is by Googling to its title. It appears that  2015 will see renewed efforts in Congress and the states to divert public funds to private schools. The address for letters to the WSJ is – Edd Doerr

Robert Maranto and Dirk van Raemdonck (“Letting Education and Religion Overlap”,  Jan 8) are wrong about diverting public funds to faith-based private schools for at least the following reasons:

1.      In 28 state referendum elections between 1966 and 2014 many millions of voters, of all faiths,  from Florida to Alaska and from Massachusetts to California have voted against vouchers, tax credits and all similar gimmicks by an average margin of 2 to 1, most recently in Florida in 2012 and Hawaii in 2014.

2.      As faith-based schools are pervasively sectarian institutions that tend to  separate children along religious, ideological, ethnic, socioeconomic status and other lines, tax support for them would fragment our student population and greatly worsen our social divisions.

3.       Three fourths of our state constitutions clearly forbid taxing citizens to support religious institutions.

4.      Our religiously neutral public schools, serving 90% of our kids, operate to protect America’s enormous religious diversity and religious liberty.

The Maranto/Van Raemdonck article is a simplistic screed that seeks to undermine two important pillars of American democracy,  religious freedom and public schools.

Edd Doerr President
Americans for Religious Liberty
Box 6656
Silver Spring, MD 20916

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