Thursday, March 21, 2013

Legislators Prepare to Expand Vouchers

Our friend Michael Walsh wrote the following letter to the editors of several Indiana newspapers....
As your legislators prepare to expand the unnecessary voucher program which will remove at least $21 million from public education funds and funnels 98% of this money to religious-based schools, I ask why on behalf of the majority of Hoosiers who do not support this.

Public schools are constitutionally free and open to all children. Your taxes pay for them. There is nothing in the constitution that calls for using public tax dollars for an alternate exclusionary, separate, private education system.

Money diverted from failing inner city schools to a voucher program removes more resources for combating the failure factors manifested in the centers of poverty. Struggling schools are being systematically, and it seems almost purposefully, damaged and relegated to continued failure by withdrawing money to support an unneeded voucher program promoted by outside forces intent on privatizing education.

Religious schools are free to teach their beliefs without interference. Vouchers support particular liturgies, regardless of your own particular beliefs and practices. Consider that of the 289 voucher schools, 283 are religious-based, and 29 of those are teaching creationism and biblical inerrancy as science. Neither Indiana not the controversial Common Core being pushed and promoted accept this as a valid standard.

Why would our taxes be used for this divisive program? This isn’t conducive to the democracy that we profess to believe in and which public schools represent. Vouchers benefit a private education system and this is wrong.

The legislature needs to halt this damaging program affecting your public schools.

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