One the women we’d like to recognize, especially since it’s Public Schools Week, is Lillian Gobitas, who, in 1935 at the tender age of 12, took a stand against mandatory recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in her public school and in the course made history.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of a landmark case in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that a restaurant owner did not have a religious right to turn away customers. Yet some people are still arguing about this issue; the Supreme Court is set to decide a similar case this term, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
This Public Schools Week, we at AU are affirming our commitment to ensure that public schools are equipped to teach children all they need to know about core subjects like reading, math and science, while protecting families’ rights to make their own decisions about faith.
Private school vouchers are harmful for many reasons: They undermine public education, strip civil rights protections from students and violate the fundamental principle of religious freedom. Vouchers divert taxpayer dollars from public schools, which serve 90 percent of our children, and send that money to private, mostly religious schools.
On the eve of Public Schools Week, Florida's Legislature passed and its governor signed an education funding bill that harms public schools and religious freedom by creating and expanding private school voucher programs and requiring "In God We Trust" signs to be posted in public schools.
Americans United and our supporters are excited that Public Schools Week gives us the opportunity to express how much we appreciate our public schools as diverse, inclusive, welcoming spaces that are the building blocks of vibrant learning communities. You can share your own story so that we can amplify why we #LovePublicEducation!