Letters and Opinion

Vouchers muddy church, state

May 7, 2011

In response to the [May 2] editorial “Education bills rise above legislative noise,” I have to agree wholeheartedly that there is no question that the status quo is not working. But taking advantage of a failing system as a political maneuver to reach out to the religious right is worse.

The practice of private religious schools reserving the right to select their students based [on] their individual selection criteria is completely acceptable and has been as long as no federal money is being used to fund them. What are the rules going to be once private religious institutions start receiving tax dollars?

What about fundamental biases such as the denial of evolution and “insert religion and creation teaching according to school” being funded with tax dollars? What about the ability to pick and choose their pupils based on their individual selection criteria, for better or worse? This was addressed by Justice Hugo Black in 1947 in what’s known as the “Establishment Clause,” Everson v. Board of Education (1947).

If Indiana chooses to use taxes (vouchers) to support private schools (religious institutions) Indiana may get bogged down [in a] legislative battle it is sure to lose in the long haul, leaving Hoosiers to pay the bill at the end.

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Oscar Gutierrez
 

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