Action Alert: Stop Federal Funding of Religious Education

On July 10, 2008 the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations voted to continue funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. This program allows parents in the District of Columbia to send their children to religious schools with tuition vouchers funded by American taxpayers.

TAKE A STAND. Below is a sample letter to send to your Senators about the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship legislation. The continued funding of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program is part of the Financial Services Appropriations bill that allocates funding for the District of Columbia.

The Secular Coalition 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 or religious training. For further details about the problem of vouchers for religious schools, see our postiion paper here

Since September 2005, the Secular Coalition for America and allies at the National Coalition for Public Education (NCPE) have lobbied Representatives and Senators to oppose voucher programs which permit government funds to go to religious education. Most recently, the Secular Coalition made vouchers a focus of our annual Lobby Day, when we accompanied citizen lobbyists to Capitol Hill to discuss federal funding of religious schools with elected officials.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program enables federally funded religious discrimination and proselytizing.  By not ensuring that recipients will be allowed into some of these religious schools, much less be permitted to use their federal voucher without required religious proselytizing, it does not provide its participants these basic protections that other states with tuition vouchers guarantee.


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