As an excellent essay in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer by veteran education policy expert Greg Malhoit makes clear, North Carolina is on the verge of commencing a long, slow-motion disaster with its wrongheaded plunge into the world of school vouchers.
As Malhoit explains in some detail, two of the Wake County schools likely to receive significant public funds if the program goes ahead — Victory Christian Center and the Al Iman School — make no pretense of offering a secular education. These are explicitly religious schools with specific missions of teaching and indoctrinating students into very specific religious belief systems. Moreover, as he notes:
“These are not isolated cases. Most religious schools likely to receive vouchers have similar religious missions and philosophies of education.To be sure, all parents have the right to practice their own religious beliefs and to pass those beliefs on to their children. And all parents have the right to educate their child at a private or religious school of their choosing so long as it is at their own expense. But when public dollars are used to support the teaching and indoctrination of religion, as will surely be the case under the voucher law, the boundary separating church and state is crossed.
I don’t believe the majority of North Carolinians want their tax dollars spent on religious instruction and indoctrination of children. That is the proper role for parents and our centers of faith.
Policymakers still have time to stop this misguided law from taking effect. Let’s hope they do so.”
To which all any believer in preserving our American tradition of keeping the government out of the religion business can say in response is: Amen.
Read Malhoit’s entire essay by clicking here.