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Garden State Victory!: N.J. School Voucher Plan Derailed For This Year

With all of the hubbub over today’s ruling on health care at the Supreme Court, it’s easy for other stories to get overlooked. Here’s one from New Jersey that’s shouldn’t: Gov. Chris Christie has conceded that his school voucher plan is dead for this year.

Christie was asked about the matter during a recent town hall meeting in Mahwah. He said the bill was dead and blamed its derailment on Sheila Oliver, the state Assembly speaker, who Christie said refuses to move the bill. Read more

Educational Swamp: Lawsuits Target Louisiana’s New School Voucher Law

Americans United has been closely following developments in Louisiana, where Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed a series of education bills, including a private school voucher plan, through the legislature.

Louisiana is in a heck of a fix. The state’s commitment to public education has always been lukewarm at best. Part of the problem is government officials have long been obsessed with finding ways to siphon money into the coffers of religious (mostly Catholic) schools. This goes all the way back to the days of Huey Long. Read more

Tax Trouble: What’s Wrong With The N.H. Voucher Bill

Yet another state has fallen under the sway of the voucher movement.

New Hampshire legislators have passed a backdoor plan that is catching on in some states. Under the scheme, businesses would be allowed to donate money to organizations that dole out vouchers and then get 85 percent of that money back in the form of a tax credit. Read more

Educational Swamp: Louisiana Governor Pushes Voucher Bills

Louisiana has an incredibly bad record when it comes to taxpayer aid to religious schools.

Back in the 1920s, Gov. Huey Long pushed a bill through the legislature giving textbooks to Catholic schools at taxpayer expense. The state has been the site of repeated efforts to siphon tax dollars away from public schools into the coffers of religious schools ever since. Read more

The Bishop’s Blunder: Let’s Keep Hitler Out Of The ‘School Choice’ Debate

Leaders of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Pennsylvania were pretty excited about the possibility of a private school voucher subsidy passing in the state. Gov. Tom Corbett was solidly behind the program, and it was assumed that an influx of conservative legislators in the state Senate and House of Representatives would back the scheme. Read more

Super Superintendent: An Educator In Rural Oklahoma Comes To The Defense Of Public Schools

Oklahoma has a private-school voucher plan aimed at children with special needs, and one of its toughest critics is a career educator in the tiny community of Mounds, population 1,200.

Donna Campo, superintendent of the Liberty Public Schools, hasn’t been shy about speaking out against any plan to divert taxpayer funds to private schools. A recent profile of Campo in the Tulsa World found her in feisty form. Read more

Voucher Victory!: Scheme To Award Taxpayer Funds To Religious Schools Collapses In Pennsylvania

Good news from Pennsylvania: A hotly contested school voucher plan has failed to pass the state House of Representatives.

Gov. Tom Corbett has been pushing this legislation since he was elected in 2010. Under the scheme, vouchers were aimed at families earning no more than 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($41,000 for a family of four) whose children attend schools that are in the bottom 5 percent in terms of standardized test performance. Read more

Government Support For Religious Intolerance: A Bad Idea At Home And Abroad

Some religious schools teach intolerance. This is an unpleasant fact, but it must be acknowledged.

There are fundamentalist Christian academies that bash gay people with impunity, mock other religions and promote inaccurate and exclusionary “Christian nation” views of American history. Some ultra-orthodox Catholic schools tell students that anyone outside the true faith is hell bound. Read more

Armey Invades Pennsylvania: Former House Majority Leader Holds Tea Party For School Vouchers

I’ve had occasion to hear followers of the Tea Party speak at Religious Right gatherings. To put it mildly, they seem to be very perturbed over government spending. They claim they want lower taxes, less spending and smaller government.

So what are they doing in Pennsylvania demanding that the state government create a massive new welfare program for religious and other private schools? Read more

A Bad Deal: Budget Agreement Advances School Vouchers, Trashes Church-State Separation

The 11th-hour budget deal that averted a shutdown of the federal government has been the talk of the nation. Pundits are going over the agreement with a microscope, listing the winners and losers.

We already know one loser: religious liberty. Read more

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