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Fla. Court Refuses To Allow Voucher Challenge To Move Forward

A Florida court in August rejected an appeal brought by Americans United and its allies challenging a school-voucher-like program that provides taxpayer support for religious organizations.

AU, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers and the Florida Education Association filed McCall v. Scott in August 2014 over a tuition tax credit program that offers a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to “scholarship funds” that pay tuition for students of private, mostly religious schools.

U.S. House Votes In Favor Of D.C. Voucher Program

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.

New York City Subsidizes Security For Religious Schools

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio has signed a bill to reimburse sectarian private schools for the cost of hiring security guards. The New York City Council initially voted to pass the measure in December.

“You can imagine, in the environment we’ve been in the last few months, how much communities are concerned,” DeBlasio said. 

Coalition Of N.M. Private Schools Seeks Tax Support

A coalition of New Mexico private schools has announced it will challenge a state Supreme Court ruling that ended the schools’ access to public funds.

In November, the court ruled unanimously that a state program that allowed private schools to use taxpayer dollars to purchase textbooks and other equipment violated the New Mexico Constitution. That document contains a provision that prohibits any use of public funds by private schools.

Failed Experiment

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.

N.Y. Officials Allow Religion In Pre-K Program To Attract More Groups

Private schools, including Orthodox Jewish ones, will be allowed to incorporate religion into taxpayer-funded universal pre-kindergarten programs to encourage greater  participation in one of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature initiatives.

Participating private schools will be permitted starting in September to take breaks during the day for prayer, The New York Times reported, but the new program guidelines will not reduce the weekly required hours for secular instruction.