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The official Americans United blog on legislation and activities of lawmakers.

House Vote on FEMA Bill Disappointing

Yesterday afternoon the House passed H.R. 592, a bill allowing taxpayer money to go towards rebuilding of houses of worship by a vote of 354-72. Such funding would entangle religion and government by forcing taxpayers to fund religion with which they may not agree, violating the separation of church and state. Read more

Barbara Cargill Might Mess with Texas

Despite the fact that we don’t get to see Texas Governor Rick Perry in the limelight as much anymore, we are still feeling the negative effects of his attempts to chip away at the wall of separation of church and state. Most recently, he nominated Barbara Cargill as the Chair of the Texas State Board of Education. Read more

Not True Choices in “National School Choice Week”

The name “School Choice Week” sounds inevitably positive: the more choices, the better, right? Why would anybody not support school choice? Unfortunately, in the case of school vouchers, this choice is often an illusion. Here’s why: Read more

Storm Damage And Religion: Hurricane Sandy Didn’t Blow Away The Constitution

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal contained an opinion piece by Avi Schick, an attorney in private practice in New York. Schick demands taxpayer aid to pay for houses of worship damaged by Hurricane Sandy and implies that this is just a commonsense thing to do.

I was born and raised on the Jersey shore. My parents are still making repairs to their house, which sustained damage in Sandy’s wake. Believe me, I understand that this is serious business. Read more

State Audit Confirms Milwaukee Voucher Schools Score No Better

The Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau has released a report confirming what a group of privately funded researchers found last year: students in Milwaukee using vouchers to attend private and religious schools perform no better on standardized tests than their counterparts in public schools.

Americans Oppose Private and Religious School Vouchers at Unprecedented Rates

The 2011 PDK/Gallup Poll, which annually tracks public opinion on a range of public education issues, was released today.  It shows record opposition to private school vouchers this year. In response to the question, “Do you favor or oppose allowing students and parents to choose a private school to attend at public expense?” 65 percent said they were opposed.
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Private School Voucher Hearings This Week in Pennsylvania

The battle over the proposed Pennsylvania private school voucher program continues this week as the House Education Committee holds additional hearings on the issue in Harrisburg. The Committee will hear testimony regarding the proposal on Wednesday, August 17, and Thursday, August 18. We strongly encourage you to attend and support those speaking out against private school vouchers. Read more

Pennsylvania Vouchers Hearing This Wednesday in Philadelphia

This Wednesday, the Pennsylvania House Education Committee will be holding a day-long hearing on the proposed statewide private school voucher program. This hearing is part of the Committee’s summer hearing series, which will take the Committee across the state. Usually, such events are held at the state capitol, in Harrisburg, but this hearing will be held in Philadelphia, PA. We encourage those of you in the Philly area to take advantage of the rare opportunity to address the Committee in your city. Read more