Last night Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) filed a D.C. voucher amendment to the second jobs bill under consideration by the Senate. The D.C. voucher program uses taxpayer funds to pay for parents to send their children to private religious schools. The program is called the “D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program,” but a 2007 government report found that these vouchers do not give D.C. students seeking a private school education sufficient secular choices, forcing them to attend religious schools or remain in the failing public school system.
By design, voucher programs aid struggling Christian schools. A July 2009 report by Rutgers University on the D.C. voucher program concluded that the way the voucher program is structured “essentially push[es] students into Christian Association and Catholic schools, pricing out independent (non-religious) schools and Hebrew schools.”
By continuing this program, those of us who do not wish to subsidize someone else's church will continue to be forced to do so through our federal tax dollars.
The vote will occur sometime today. Please take five minutes and email your Senators below and tell them to vote against this amendment that would re-authorize this program.
The Secular Coalition for America opposes the use of government funds for religious purposes, including vouchers for religious schools. We agree with the founders of the United States that no individual taxpayer should be required to pay for someone else's religion. We agree with James Madison. Senator Lieberman wants us to go in a different direction.
The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship, with your tax money, funds and enables proselytizing and religious discrimination. Recipients of the vouchers who attend religious schools are not even allowed to opt out of religious activities at their school—a direct affront to religious freedom.
It is critical that you write your Senators today and ask them to oppose Sen. Lieberman’s amendment that would re-authorize this program and spend your taxes to fund the religious education of children in D.C.
Go to Secular Coalition for America to send a letter today.