ACTION ALERT: Stop Footing the Bill for Religious Training in D.C. Private Schools


June 19, 2008 - On Tuesday, June 17th, the House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee decided to continue funding D.C. Opportunity Scholarships. This program allows parents in the District of Columbia to send their children to religious schools with tuition vouchers funded by American taxpayers. 

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. 

The Government Accountability Office concluded that these vouchers do not give D.C. students sufficient secular choice in education. The programs do not even ensure that recipients will be allowed into some of these religious schools, much less be permitted to use their federal voucher without required religious proselytizing. Those of us who do not wish to subsidize someone else's church will continue to be forced to do so through our federal taxes. [For more information on the program, please see our position paper. Use your back button to return here.]

Since September, 2005 the Secular Coalition for America and allies at the National Coalition for Public Education (NCPE) have lobbied dozens of 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 on June 9th, when we accompanied citizen lobbyists to Capitol Hill to discuss federal funding of religious schools with elected officials.

On Tuesday, June 24th, the House Appropriations Committee will be voting whether or not to continue funding the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. If your member sits on the House Appropriations Committee (see below), we ask that you to contact her/him now to urge a NO vote on continued funding of a voucher program that funnels money to religious schools. If your Congressional member is -not- listed below, please do nothing for now. Everyone will have an opportunity to take action if the bill reaches the House floor.

[Not sure of your Representative? Enter your zip code on the House of Representatives Web site - top banner. This Action Alert will remain open in a separate tab or window, according to your browser settings.]

Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee are:  
David R. Obey, Wisconsin, Chair; John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania; Norman D. Dicks, Washington; Alan B. Mollohan, West Virginia ; Marcy Kaptur, Ohio; Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana; Nita M. Lowey, New York; José E. Serrano, New York; Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut; James P. Moran, Virginia; John W. Olver, Massachusetts; Ed Pastor, Arizona; David E. Price, North Carolina; Chet Edwards, Texas; Robert E. "Bud" Cramer, Jr., Alabama; Patrick J. Kennedy, Rhode Island; Maurice D. Hinchey, New York; Lucille Roybal-Allard, California; Sam Farr, California; Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Illinois; Carolyn C. Kilpatrick, Michigan; Allen Boyd, Florida; Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania; Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey; Sanford Bishop, Georgia; Marion Berry, Arkansas; Barbara Lee, California; Tom Udall, New Mexico; Adam Schiff, California; Michael Honda, California; Betty McCollum, Minnesota; Steve Israel, New York; Tim Ryan, Ohio; C.A "Dutch" Ruppersberger, Maryland; Ben Chandler, Kentucky; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida; Ciro Rodriguez, Texas. 

Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee are: 
Jerry Lewis, California, Ranking Member; C.W. Bill Young, Florida; Ralph Regula, Ohio; Harold Rogers, Kentucky; Frank R. Wolf, Virginia; James T. Walsh, New York; David L. Hobson, Ohio; Joe Knollenberg, Michigan; Jack Kingston, Georgia ; Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey; Todd Tiahrt, Kansas; Zach Wamp, Tennessee; Tom Latham, Iowa; Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama; Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri; Kay Granger, Texas; John E. Peterson, Pennsylvania; Virgil H. Goode, Jr., Virginia; Ray LaHood, Illinois; Dave Weldon, Florida; Michael K. Simpson, Idaho; John Abney Culberson, Texas; Mark Steven Kirk, Illinois; Ander Crenshaw, Florida; Dennis R. Rehberg, Montana; John Carter, Texas; Rodney Alexander, Louisiana; Ken Calvert, California; Jo Bonner, Alabama.

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