Public school advocates say religious school Supreme Court decision puts vouchers ‘at crossroads’

Representatives of a new umbrella group concerned about public spending at religious schools gather at the State House today.

By Guy Page

A new umbrella advocacy group comprised of four organizations of Vermont public school educators often at loggerheads was in the State House today, speaking as one for ‘equity and accountability’ in any legislation responding to the U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring tuitioning towns to provide payments to religious private schools. 

The Education Equity Alliance represents the Vermont NEA, the Vermont Principals’ Association, the Vermont Superintendents Association, and the Vermont School Boards Association. The decision for these groups – often at odds over school funding and decision-making legislation – to work together is “monumental,” one spokesperson said. 

The Carson V. Makin decision last June has turned traditional opponents into allies on the issue of ‘equity and accountability’ in school funding.

“When it comes to Vermont’s private-school voucher system, there is no status quo,” a statement handed to VDC by VT-NEA spokesperson Jeff Fannon said. “The US Supreme Court has put education funding at a crossroads.”

The status quo was that private religious schools were prohibited from receiving public tuition funding allocated to other private schools. For example, before Carson V. Makin, St. Johnsbury Academy could receive tuition payments; Rice Memorial High School could not. 

As reported by Lifesitenews, the Vermont Supreme Court decided Nov. 30 to enforce a settlement based on Carson V. Makin, which ruled that “a state-run program for tuition aid in Maine could not bar “sectarian” schools—religiously affiliated schools—from taking part” in the State of Vermont’s town tuitioning program.  

Fannon and other EEA representatives in the State House today say it’s too early to comment on any of several proposed legislative responses. Some legislation under discussion (nothing has been introduced yet) would ban public tuition for all private schools, secular and religious, rather than allow funding to go to religious schools unwilling to hire LGBTQ employees or advance pro-LGBTQ policies.

EEA supports legislation that 1) accommodates the U.S. Supreme Court decision and 2) “ensuring equity and accountability must go hand-in-hand with guaranteeing that public taxpayer dollars will not fund discrimination of any kind against students and educators.”

Categories: Education

8 replies »

  1. public schools hate competition and after seeing test scores you can see why. equity is an ill defined idea at best. merit should be only concern

  2. These issues arises because the resources collected are turned over to the government to be dispensed by that government. And thus the complications arise. If the government could be relieved of this burden of dispensing we’d have fewer issues. If funds collected were held for families to dispense we’d be re-empowering families as the educational agents for their kids. Parents would be dispensing their legislatively designated funds. They’d contract for whatever schooling service they choose. The government would not be the dispensing agent. They’d be out of the schooling business and function as fund mangers for citizens.

  3. How many times do these establishment creatures need to be told that governmental discrimination against religions is unconstitutional? I’m sure they understand the law of the land; they just don’t like it.

  4. The Education Equity Alliance is circling the wagons to protect their turf, and funding. Screw the the children and their parents. It’s all about money and indoctrination.

  5. Liberals will use every tool in their toolbox to prevent taxpayer money from providing a good, solid education that follows the wishes of the parents and benefits said students. (They are very happy, however, to receive the parents’ tax money to be used toward the schools that these same parents have no interest in sending their children to.)
    We will never again have independence in VT as long as the liberals continue being elected. You get what you vote for.

    • As I opined on TNR – make no mistake, the Education Equity Alliance, representing the Vermont NEA, the Vermont Principals’ Association, the Vermont Superintendents Association, and the Vermont School Boards Association, is as despotic a group of people as has ever been assembled here in Vermont.

      Those who disagree with them are enemies of the State, domestic terrorists, and conspiracy theorists. We live and reproduce at the behest of the ‘Administrative State’, no longer controlling our own lives or the lives of our children, ceding all authority to “a compelling State interest’. Our mere existence is a threat to civilization, whatever the Administrative State deems that to be. We exist to feed the beast, be it the public education monopoly, the healthcare establishment and ‘big pharma’, the social services cartels, government workers, and the so-called ‘elected’ officials managing our affairs.

  6. What they are scared of is those parents who couldn’t afford to tuition their children some where other than State approved high schools, would now have the choice to leave the cesspool and they, even if not a “religious” person , will flee the new agenda in droves. Oh if this applied to private primary schools!!😁

Leave a Reply