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Md. Legislature Passes Private School Voucher Program

Maryland legislators voted in March to approve a budget that includes $5 million in grants for low-income students who wish to attend private schools.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has indicated he will sign the bill. The proposal is the culmination of a decade-long attempt by voucher advocates to funnel public money to private schools.

Teachers unions had opposed the measure. Sean Johnson, who represents the Maryland State Education Association, told The Washington Post the group will continue to lobby against it. Read more

AU Legal Director Argues Against Voucher Program In Nevada

Nevada’s new voucher program will lead to direct taxpayer funding of religious schools in violation of the Nev­ada Constitution, an Americans Uni­ted attorney recently told a state judge.

During an oral argument held in December, AU Legal Director Richard B. Katskee told a Clark County court that it’s perfectly acceptable for parents to send their children to religious schools – as long as they pay for it themselves. Read more

Failed Experiment

As schools go, the Academia de la Recta Porta in Washington, D.C., doesn’t seem to offer much. Squeezed between grimy storefronts in a tumble-down area of northwest D.C. near the Maryland line, the school consists of just two classrooms.
The school’s music program, The Washington Post reported in 2012, includes a keyboard and a drum. The facility lacks a gym, so students have to go two miles away to a recreation center for exercise. There is no library. Read more

Americans United Joins Lawsuit Challenging Broad Nevada Voucher Program

Three civil liberties organizations, including Americans United, recently filed suit in a Nevada court to challenge a school voucher program signed into law in June by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United sued Aug. 27 on behalf of a group of parents, clergy and others who oppose the program’s effort to divert taxpayer money to private, religious schools. Read more

Vouchers Are Struck Down In Colo. But Upheld By N.C. High Court

Opponents of “school choice” schemes have experienced mixed successes in recent months, as Colorado’s Supreme Court blocked a voucher ploy in that state while North Carolina’s highest court approved a program in the Tar Heel State.

In Colorado, Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado scored a victory in June when that state’s high court struck down a Douglas County school voucher program that had allowed taxpayer dollars to flow directly to religious schools. Read more

Wisc. Legislators Expand Voucher Program

Wisconsin’s Republican-dominated legislature has approved a bill that will expand the state’s voucher program by $48 million over the next two years. As written, that increase will cut into public school funding and will allow more private and religious schools to accept taxpayer dollars.

Critics are calling the legislation a mistake. Read more

ACLU, Americans United Applaud Colorado Supreme Court Decision Striking Down Voucher Program Funding Religious Schools

Douglas County ‘Scholarship’ Scheme Is Unconstitutional, Civil Liberties Groups Say

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado applaud a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that struck down a Douglas County school voucher program that had allowed taxpayer dollars to flow directly to religious schools.
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Americans United Fights Tenn. Bills

Tennessee legislators have proposed a measure that would make the Bible the state’s official book and another that would widen use of private school vouchers. Americans United opposed both measures in letters submitted to the legislature, arguing that they would erode the wall of separation between church and state. Read more

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