Secular Coalition Urges U.S. Senate to Oppose D.C. Voucher Renewal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Last week, the Secular Coalition for America sent letters to every U.S. Senator urging them to oppose and not co-sponsor S. 206, the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act of 2011, which would reauthorize and expand the Washington, D.C. private school voucher pilot program. 

As the leading voice for secular Americans in our nation’s capital, the Secular Coalition for America objects to voucher programs that subsidize private religious schools that are able to discriminate on the basis of faith and proselytize to students who are not given an op-out option.

More than 80 percent of students in the D.C. voucher program attend private religious schools.

“As a nation that values religious liberty, our government should never compel its citizens to fund a religious institution for any reason, particularly schools that can discriminate, based on religion, against both students and staff,” said Sean Faircloth, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America. “The D.C. voucher program is the only federally funded voucher program in the country, allowing millions of taxpayer dollars to be funneled to schools focused on the religious indoctrination of children.”

Many of the schools that accept vouchers are explicit in their religious agenda. One such example is the Anacostia Christian Bible School, which describes its purpose as turning K – 6 students “into an army by reconciling them to God by making warriors for Christ and to each other through worship, prayer, preaching, fellowship, and teaching.” (Emphasis added.) 

The entire text of SCA's letter to U.S. senators can be read here.

The Homeland Security and Government Affairs Senate Committee plans to hold a hearing about the D.C. voucher program on Wednesday, February 16, at 9:15 a.m.

House Speaker John Boehner has sponsored an identical bill, H.R. 471, in the U.S. House.

Mike Meno, SCA communications manager: 202-299-1091 or [email protected]

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