Advocates of private school vouchers often point to Wisconsin as a model. The state has had a voucher plan since the early 1990s. At first limited to secular private schools in the city of Milwaukee, the voucher scheme was later expanded to include religious institutions. Read more
The ongoing disgrace that is the Louisiana voucher plan continues to scandalize. This is a pretty impressive feat, considering that the program hasn’t even been fully implemented yet.
“The Wall of Separation” has reported previously about how leaders of religious schools are using the taxpayer funds to increase enrollment and how some schools plan to teach creationism and other discredited ideas. Read more
A member of the Louisiana House of Representatives who eagerly supported Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to fund private schools has had an epiphany: Muslim schools might start getting taxpayer money!
Rep. Valarie Hodges, a Republican who represents East Baton Rouge and Livingston, now says she wishes she hadn’t voted for the Jindal voucher bill.
“I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools,” Hodges told the Livingston Parish News. Read more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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