I decided to intern at Americans United because I wanted to learn more about communications and I wanted to be involved in a cause that I am passionate about. Separation of church and state is an important issue to me and I wanted to be able to promote it while growing professionally.
Tomorrow is President Donald J. Trump’s 100th day in office. Although he campaigned on his 100-day “Contract with the American Voter,” he no longer seems enthusiastic about the milestone. Perhaps that’s because he is facing criticism for failing to achieve any major legislative victories. One thing he has accomplished: He has caused real harm to religious freedom and has made promises to do even more.
Nearly 20 years ago, Betsy DeVos and her husband were the primary funders of an effort to strip the Michigan Constitution’s no-aid clause – the provision that ensures the government doesn’t funnel taxpayer dollars to religious institutions, including private religious schools. Their goal: remove the constitutional barrier to implementation of a private school voucher program.
By law, the president must present a budget to Congress every year. In a president’s inaugural year, that budget contains less detail than in other years, and it’s often referred to as a “skinny budget.”
President Donald J. Trump visited a Catholic school in Orlando today for what has been described as a “listening session” on “school choice.” In other words, a rally for private school vouchers.
Trump, kids in school uniforms, and claims about widespread success of a government program may make for good political theater. But, “alternative facts” and anecdotes are a terrible basis for policy. The truth is that vouchers masquerading as “school choice” are a failure.
President Donald J. Trump last night again touted his misguided idea of funneling public money into the coffers of private schools.
The New York Times recently ran a story about researchers being surprised by the “dismal” results school voucher programs have so far produced.
As The Times notes, “[A] wave of new research has emerged suggesting that private school vouchers may harm students who receive them. The results are startling – the worst in the history of the field, researchers say.”
President Donald J. Trump will address a joint session of Congress tonight. Technically not a State of the Union address (the President does not give a State of the Union address until his second year in office), Trump will be setting out his vision and goals for his new administration.
Presidents Day is a good time to reflect on some of the great things chief executives have said about separation of church and state and religious freedom.