Today is my last day as a fellow in the Legal Department at Americans United. In my two years here, I have learned an immense amount and I want to share a few insights before I go.
Public money should fund public schools, but President Donald J. Trump’s federal budget would send $250 million in public money to vouchers for private, often religious, schools. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos once again went to the Hill to defend the budget, this time, before a Senate committee.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has been criticized for having no experience in public education, and now she is proving she doesn’t understand the history of the “school choice” schemes she so eagerly embraces.
The Nevada Supreme Court was correct to permanently block funding for a massive statewide school voucher program, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
In two cases decided today, the Nevada high court struck down S.B. 302, the law that created a voucher program to divert taxpayer dollars from public schools to private schools.
Yesterday Americans United asked a federal court in Colorado to dismiss an attempt by a pro-voucher group to circumvent the Colorado Supreme Court by filing a case in federal court. The plaintiffs are a group of Douglas County parents who argue that the district’s voucher plan, which applies only to secular schools, as mandated by the Colorado Supreme Court, violates the U.S. Constitution. But if you are thinking that this isn’t our first time addressing this issue in Colorado, you are right.
A measure that reauthorizes private school vouchers for Washington, D.C., is moving through Congress, despite opposition from the White House.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4901, which would reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, in April. The U.S. Senate has not yet voted on its version of the measure, reported The Washington Times.
DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU and the law firm Arnold & Porter — who successfully challenged a Douglas County school voucher program before the Colorado Supreme Court last year — filed motions yesterday challenging the validity of a new lawsuit that asks a federal district court to issue an unprecedented order that would require the Douglas County School District to divert taxpayer funds to religious schools.
Maryland legislators voted in March to approve a budget that includes $5 million in grants for low-income students who wish to attend private schools.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has indicated he will sign the bill. The proposal is the culmination of a decade-long attempt by voucher advocates to funnel public money to private schools.
Teachers unions had opposed the measure. Sean Johnson, who represents the Maryland State Education Association, told The Washington Post the group will continue to lobby against it.
Nevada’s new voucher program will lead to direct taxpayer funding of religious schools in violation of the Nevada Constitution, an Americans United attorney recently told a state judge.
During an oral argument held in December, AU Legal Director Richard B. Katskee told a Clark County court that it’s perfectly acceptable for parents to send their children to religious schools – as long as they pay for it themselves.
As schools go, the Academia de la Recta Porta in Washington, D.C., doesn’t seem to offer much. Squeezed between grimy storefronts in a tumble-down area of northwest D.C. near the Maryland line, the school consists of just two classrooms.
The school’s music program, The Washington Post reported in 2012, includes a keyboard and a drum. The facility lacks a gym, so students have to go two miles away to a recreation center for exercise. There is no library.