It’s an article of faith among school voucher proponents that if we move toward a privatized system of education, competition will spur the creation of excellent schools.
That’s the theory. How does it work out in real life?
Not so well. In Florida, which has been using students with physical and learning disabilities as subjects in a privatization experiment, parents are learning the hard way that many private schools don’t really care about educating children. Their owners are just interested in making a fast buck.
Americans United often points out the church-state separation is not only good for government, it’s also good for religion.
Yesterday, three members of the clergy – a Baptist minister, a Presbyterian minister and a rabbi – made that clear in a letter to Florida legislators. They wrote to oppose SJR 1218, a measure that tears down the church-state wall erected by the state constitution.
Public school principal Steve Comparato in Polk County, Fla., said his prayers were answered when a local church agreed to “adopt” his school and pay for $5,000 worth of supplies.
“If they want to come in and help, who am I to say no?” he told the Wall Street Journal, which today details a new trend in public schools that could become a serious church-state concern.
Ten years ago, the Santa Fe (Texas) Independent School District was just another American town that loved its high school football team. On Friday evenings, students congregated in metal bleachers to cheer for their friends, parents attended with camcorders and warm coffee in gloved hands, and full recaps of exciting games were printed in the local papers.
A Florida appellate court ruled yesterday that public funding of a "faith-based" prison program may violate the state's constitution.
The decision, Council for Secular Humanism, Inc. v. McNeil, serves as an important win for taxpayers who don't want to be forced to support religion.
Growing up in Ohio, I was pretty oblivious to the fact that students at my high school were anything but Christian. I just assumed that everyone was but me.
That's because students met for Bible studies club, or some of my friends would talk about their church's youth group. The students who weren't Christian never really brought up religion at all.
Looking back, I realize now that I actually went to high school with a slightly more diverse crowd than I knew. I wish I had known that then – I would have felt a little less like an outcast.
Lies, lies and more lies.
That's what Floridians will see as they drive through Pinellas and Hillsborough counties near Tampa Bay, Fla., during the next six months.
A local fundamentalist group has decided to wage war on church-state separation by posting ten billboard advertisements that send the message that "America's government was made only for people who are moral and religious."
Is there a theocracy flourishing in South Florida?
According to reports from The Naples News, there just may be. The newspaper is in the midst of a three-part series on the town of Ave Maria, which came to be after Tom Monaghan, an ultra-conservative Catholic from Michigan, bought 100,000 acres of land just west of Naples.
Many have flocked to Ave Maria, which is home to a Catholic university, a Catholic law school and a huge Catholic Church. But few probably knew quite what they were getting into.
U.S. District Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger of northern Florida is one smart guy.
On Wednesday, he gave a Florida public school quite a scolding, followed by a very important constitutional law lesson.
Two teachers at the school included a song called "In God We Still Trust" by the country group Diamond Rio into the program of a third-grade class' end-of-the-year assembly.