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Hoosier Heartache: Vouchers Threaten Public Education In Indiana

I spent the weekend in Indianapolis, where I took part in “Civic Day,” an annual event co-sponsored by Americans United’s Indiana Chapter and the Center for Inquiry-Indiana.

One of the topics discussed was vouchers. I gave an overview of the sectarian and secular groups that promote taxpayer aid for religious education and discussed what motivates them. Read more

Push Back At Notre Dame: Federal Court Rejects University’s Attack On Contraceptive Access

If you’ve been following the news, you know that secular, for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby have been challenging the contraceptive mandate that the Department of Health and Human Services has interpreted to be part of the Affordable Care Act. Read more

‘Choice’ Charade: Religious School Leaders Want Your Money But Not Your Oversight

Supporters of private school “choice” – by which they mean their right to choose to pass the bill for private religious education to the taxpayer – believe they are on a roll. To some extent, they’re right.

In March, Indiana’s Supreme Court ruled that the state’s voucher plan doesn’t violate a provision in the Indiana Constitution that bars tax aid to religion. In the wake of that ruling, legislators promptly approved an expansion of the program. Read more

Midwestern Swing: Church-State Activism Is Alive And Well In America’s Heartland

I just got back from a trip to Indiana and Illinois where I was once again reminded of the importance of local activism.

In Indianapolis, I spoke at an event jointly sponsored by the Indiana Chapter of Americans United and the Center for Inquiry-Indiana. Called “Civic Day,” the annual event at the state capitol building is designed to inform residents of challenges facing their state and spur them to action. Read more

Paying For Prejudice: Georgia Tax-Credit Program Subsidizes Anti-Gay Bias

Vouchers and tuition tax credits, we’re told by those who favor them, will promote “school choice.”

This is true, in a sense. But here’s the harsh reality: It’s the private school that gets the choice, not the parents. Read more

Creationism Canard: The Last Thing Fundamentalists Want Is Open Inquiry In The Classroom

Many things drive me crazy about creationists but a major one is how they pretend to be great advocates of scientific inquiry and learning when in reality, those are the farthest things from their minds. Read more

Devan’s Dilemma: When Bothered By Church-State Violations, Call Americans United

Whenever we debate a church-state issue like religion in public schools or the use of sectarian prayers before government meetings, we must always remember there is a human face behind every one of these controversies.

Someone’s rights are being violated. Someone is being treated like a second-class citizen. Someone is being singled out because of what he or she believes about theology. Read more

Crazy For Creationism: Legislators In Ind. And N.H. Seek To Undermine Instruction About Evolution

It looks like opponents of creationism are going to have their hands full in 2012. The new year is just a few days old, and already we’ve seen several anti-evolution bills popping up in the states.

In Indiana, state Sen. Dennis Kruse has introduced S.B. 89, a bill that would allow public schools in the state to “require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.” Read more

Starving The Schools: In The States, Voucher Boosters Play Reverse Robin Hood With Tax Dollars

Across the country, public schools are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn. The school system my daughter and son attend has increased class sizes, and some popular programs are on the chopping block.

This, then, would seem to be a poor time to divert tax money into religious and other private schools. (Learn more here.) Yet consider what’s going on in several states: Read more

Public Funds For Fred Phelps?: Voucher Dollars Could Go To Religious Schools That Teach Hate

When it comes to school vouchers, Indiana State Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford) seems to get it.

The Republican lawmaker doesn’t want to support an Indiana bill that would use public funds to send students to religious and other private schools. Steele is the first Republican legislator in the state to voice opposition to the proposal. Read more

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