To the Editor:
So, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is recommending an $11 million appropriation for public and private pre-K schools (State of the States, Jan. 28, 2015). Why not confine that aid to just public school programs? Doesn’t Mr. Nixon remember that Missouri voters rejected tax aid for private schools in a 1976 referendum by 60 percent to 40 percent?
And doesn’t the Missouri Constitution prohibit tax aid to sectarian schools under Article I, Sections 6 and 7, and Article IX, Section 8?
Missouri public schools can use all the help they can get, with 45 percent of the state’s kids in low-income households, according to an article in the same issue of Education Week (“Poverty Data Signal Urgency for Schools,” Jan. 28, 2015).
Americans for Religious Liberty
Silver Spring, Md.
A version of this article appeared in the February 18, 2015 edition of Education Week as Missouri Pre-K Funding Should Be Public Only