To the Editor:
Congress’ high-handed provision of millions of dollars for vouchers for faith-based schools in Louisiana and Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is a slap at both of those states’ constitutions (“Congress Passes Hurricane Aid for Schools,” Jan. 4, 2006.) The constitutions of both Louisiana (Article IV, Section 8; Article XII, Section 13) and Mississippi (Article VIII, Section 208) prohibit such aid.
It is simply wrong for any level of government to tax citizens for the support of faith-based schools that commonly practice forms of discrimination and indoctrination that would be intolerable in public schools. Using the Katrina catastrophe to chip away at public education is reprehensible.
Of course the young victims of Katrina need all the help Congress can provide, but it should be exclusively through the (already underfunded) public schools of their home communities, or wherever in the country these kids now attend school.
Americans for Religious Liberty
Silver Spring, Md.
A version of this article appeared in the January 25, 2006 edition of Education Week as A ‘Reprehensible’ Side of Federal Hurricane Aid