The Trump Administration apparently will include one less person dragging the baggage of legal entanglements and concerning views on religious freedom: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. over the weekend announced he won’t join President Donald J. Trump’s Department of Homeland Security after all.
A Wisconsin public school district has agreed to stop holding a concert in a local church after Americans United raised concerns about the practice.
AU contacted the School District of Elmbrook in December to request that Brookfield Central High School’s choir stop performing its “Annual Concert of Sacred Music” inside a church and alter the selection of songs that is almost entirely religious in nature.
Wisconsin voters in April elected a slate of school leaders who oppose private school voucher schemes.
In Milwaukee, home of one of the country’s longest-running school voucher programs, candidates aligned with the Wisconsin Working Families Party (WIWFP) swept all four open seats on the Milwaukee School Board, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
President Donald J. Trump is continuing his trend of appointing people with troubling records on religious freedom to positions of power and prominence.
Religious freedom is a fundamental American value, guaranteeing our right to believe—or not—as we see fit. That right to believe (and to act on those beliefs, as long as we are not harming third parties) enjoys powerful First Amendment protection.
That protection, however, does not mean that dissatisfied persons can file lawsuits in order to force the government into adopting policies that favor their personal religious beliefs.
Maryland recently became the latest state to adopt a school voucher program that will benefit mostly religious schools. The state will spend $5 million on the program, which is aimed at low-income students in Baltimore.
The Washington Post is ecstatic. The newspaper, which constantly promotes vouchers on its editorial page, recently published an editorial that reads like a string of talking points from the Cato Institute.
Wisconsin’s voucher program will drain $2.2 million from public schools this year, and taxpayers could be stuck with higher taxes.
Recent changes to Wisconsin’s private school voucher program are resulting in less money for public schools, an outcome that’s no surprise because some “school choice” advocates have long sought to drain government-run schools of their resources. But in a turn of events that voucher supporters may come to regret, the Badger State’s scheme could eventually lead to higher property taxes.
Wisconsin’s Republican-dominated legislature has approved a bill that will expand the state’s voucher program by $48 million over the next two years. As written, that increase will cut into public school funding and will allow more private and religious schools to accept taxpayer dollars.
Critics are calling the legislation a mistake.
Back in the early 1990s when officials in the state of Wisconsin passed a voucher plan, people were assured that the idea was to help poor students trapped in underperforming public schools.