On Election Day, voters in Michigan and California will be asked to consider the issue of voucher subsidies for religious and other private schools.
Fortunately, every time this question has been put on a statewide ballot anywhere in the country, common sense prevailed and vouchers were defeated. Here are three good reasons why.
1. Voucher aid to religious schools violates the separation of church and state. Americans should never be forced to support churches or church schools. By using public money to pay for parochial education, the state is effectively requiring taxpayers to place their hard-earned money in the collection plates of houses of worship.
2. Diversion of public funds to private education undermines the public school system. The American public education system is an essential feature of our national life. Public schools welcome all children, regardless of their race, religion or socio-economic background. Diverting public resources from these schools to private institutions will inevitably undermine the very foundations of a critical public service.
3. State funding of religion jeopardizes the integrity of faith-based institutions. As everyone knows, government always regulates what it funds. Voucher subsidies for religious schools ultimately will lead to government controls. Religious schools exist to immerse children in the teachings of the sponsoring denomination. Government involvement can only interfere with that core mission.
Americans United members in California and Michigan should make sure their friends, family and neighbors realize what is at stake.