Commentary

Editorial: NC voucher program = “discrimination tax”

School-vouchersThe lead editorial in this morning’s edition of the Greensboro News & Record provides an apt characterization of North Carolina’s school voucher (aka “opportunity scholarships”) program. It calls the program a “discrimination tax.”

As Chris Fitzsimon first publicized a few weeks back, the voucher program funnels state dollars to private schools that, among other objectionable things, discriminate against LGBT kids and families and teach children religious-based concepts as “science.” This morning’s editorial focuses on the LGBT discrimination. Here’s the N&R:

“Schools participating in the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program shouldn’t discriminate.

All taxpayers fund the voucher program, and all should expect it to offer equal opportunities.

That’s not how it is, however, according to recent reporting by The Charlotte Observer. It found that several private schools in its area expressly refuse to admit LGBT students, or claim the right to expel them for that status. Some require parents to be in a traditional marriage.

Such attitudes could be ignored by outsiders if those same schools weren’t accepting public dollars to educate North Carolina children. But once they put their hands out for the state cash, they assume a greater responsibility….

By far, most of the voucher money paid so far has gone to schools with religious viewpoints. Maybe if a school denied admission to children from Republican families, the GOP lawmakers who created this program would see why discrimination shouldn’t be supported by public dollars. Rather than worry about such things, however, they are rapidly expanding the voucher program.

Many parents want their children to receive private education and religious instruction at school. If that’s their choice, they should be willing to pay for it.

The public, on the other hand, shouldn’t be taxed for it, especially if participating schools discriminate for any reason.”

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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