For Immediate Release: February 9, 2018
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
firstname.lastname@example.org - (207) 358-9785
The Center for Inquiry today rebuked Congress for eroding the separation of church and state in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement by cynically diverting funds for children displaced by natural disasters to a voucher scheme that will primarily benefit private religious schools.
The Bipartisan Budget Agreement makes available $2.7 billion in impact aid to assist school-age children in meeting their educational needs in parts of the country affected by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, as well as by wildfires in California. But buried in the over 650-page bill is a provision that provides up to $10,000 per child for displaced children to attend private schools.
Two-thirds of private schools in the United States are religious, and by allocating public funds for children to attend these schools, American taxpayers foot the bill for the teaching of sectarian beliefs that may contradict known scientific facts.
“Children who have been displaced by a natural disaster absolutely need and deserve access to a quality public education as soon as possible,” said Jason Lemieux, CFI’s Director of Government Affairs. “Congress is right to provide funding that will help families to resume their children’s education. But they shouldn’t use disaster relief as a cover to divert taxpayer money to vouchers for religious schools that can discriminate against LGBTQ, disabled, and non-religious children.”
“Hurricanes and wildfires do not discriminate, and neither should our country’s disaster relief assistance,” said Lemieux.