Vouchers are a bad idea, and the public doesn’t support them. Time after time, vouchers have been put on state ballots, and every single time they have been defeated. They were defeated overwhelmingly in Utah in 2007, with 62%-38% of the vote, and defeated most recently in Florida in 2012, by a vote of 58%-42%. Yet, with the help of the far-right ALEC and its model legislation, several state legislatures have created voucher programs without going to the voters. Even in states that explicitly ban the use of public funds for religious institutions, the legislatures have coined some euphemism like “opportunity scholarship” or, as in Nevada, “education savings accounts.” A voucher is a voucher is a voucher.
I tweeted this message; I hope you will too: Should taxpayer $ go to religious schools? @ACLUNV says no & Nevada agrees. Support separation of church & state! http://bit.ly/1XhsFyg
Here is an appeal from the ACLU:
Last week we filed a major lawsuit against the state of Nevada to stop the voucher program that diverts taxpayer funds to religious schools. The program was passed by the Nevada Legislature and signed by Governor Sandoval this year.
Parents have a right to send their children to religious schools, but they are not entitled to do so at taxpayers’ expense. Do you want your tax dollars going to fund a parent’s preferred religious school choice? We don’t and that’s why we are suing to stop it.
Proponents of the new program bristle at our use of the term “voucher” instead of their preferred description of “education savings accounts,” but we do that because we know better — these accounts will do nothing to save education, but will in fact destroy education across the state. Is it any wonder why this program was written and proposed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)?
In just three short days we have seen those who seek to dismantle public education and divert education money to private religious purposes attack us and the plaintiffs for daring to thwart their plans. They are even attacking Ruby Duncan, the lead plaintiff and longtime civil rights, education, and welfare rights champion. What these pro-voucher forces don’t know is how firmly we believe this voucher program violates the separation of church and state and how resolute Ruby is in standing up for kids and providing them the education that they deserve. Ruby was honored when a school was named after her to recognize all the work she has done in making sure every child is educated and now they want to question her motives.
Share this victory with your friends, family, and any allies that believe that liberty is only possible when the separation of church and state is secure.
ACLU of Nevada
P.S. Lawsuits are hard work, they require resources, and take time, but we are in this until the end. We need your help in ensuring we can fight this battle all the way to the Nevada Supreme Court. Donate now to help provide the resources we need in this battle — and in all our efforts to protect your rights.