Wisconsin’s voucher program will drain $2.2 million from public schools this year, and taxpayers could be stuck with higher taxes.
Three civil liberties organizations, including Americans United, recently filed suit in a Nevada court to challenge a school voucher program signed into law in June by Gov. Brian Sandoval.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United sued Aug. 27 on behalf of a group of parents, clergy and others who oppose the program’s effort to divert taxpayer money to private, religious schools.
Opponents of “school choice” schemes have experienced mixed successes in recent months, as Colorado’s Supreme Court blocked a voucher ploy in that state while North Carolina’s highest court approved a program in the Tar Heel State.
In Colorado, Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado scored a victory in June when that state’s high court struck down a Douglas County school voucher program that had allowed taxpayer dollars to flow directly to religious schools.
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.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado applaud a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that struck down a Douglas County school voucher program that had allowed taxpayer dollars to flow directly to religious schools.
Tennessee legislators have proposed a measure that would make the Bible the state’s official book and another that would widen use of private school vouchers. Americans United opposed both measures in letters submitted to the legislature, arguing that they would erode the wall of separation between church and state.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has faced pushback of late from his own party when it comes to his private school voucher expansion, but now it seems he’s cleared some major hurdles and will move forward.
We’ve known for some time that Walker had grand plans to fund religious and other private schools statewide, which I’m sure had nothing to do with the fact that voucher advocacy groups have donated $2.35 million to support Walker since 2006.
It seems that Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) has given up on his state’s public school system.
“No student should be locked into a poor performing school because that happens to be where they live,” Patrick said, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “I’m a big supporter of public education, and we have a lot of schools that are doing a great job, but we must also recognize the truth that we have a lot of schools that are not performing at the level that they need to be.”