There are now three states in which vouchers enable students to bring public funding to religious schools: Indiana, Wisconsin, and Louisiana. Some of these schools will be evangelical schools that use Christian textbooks written specifically for this market, as well as for home-schoolers. The list of schools approved to receive voucher students in Louisiana includes many Bible-based Christian academies.

The Christian textbooks take a decidedly different view of the world than mainstream textbooks. The science textbooks teach creationism, not evolution. The history textbooks look on liberalism as a force for moral decadence. Even the math textbooks are different from those used in public schools.

In 2003, I wrote a book about textbooks, which showed how they are shaped by political forces and how their publishers skirt controversial issues in an effort to placate partisan demands. There is something even less desirable than blandness, however, and that is teaching impressionable minds only one perspective or denying them a full understanding of crucial ideas in history, science, and other fields of study.

In this land of liberty, private schools are free to teach what they want. But when they start taking public money, what they teach–whether it is scientifically and historically accurate– becomes a matter of public concern.  That is why many religious schools have been reluctant to become entangled with public funding.