Ind. vouchers prompt thousands to change schools

Weeks after Indiana began the nation’s broadest school voucher program, thousands of students have transferred from public to private schools, causing a spike in enrollment at some Catholic institutions that were only recently on the brink of closing for lack of pupils.

It’s a scenario public school advocates have long feared: Students fleeing local districts in large numbers, taking with them vital tax dollars that often end up at parochial schools. Opponents say the practice violates the separation of church and state.

In at least one district, public school principals have been pleading with parents not to move their children.

The seperation of church and state is a myth and a legal precident that was set by a Klansman Supreme Court Associate Justice that wanted to take his pound of flesh from the Catholic Church.

I love this tidbit:

“The bottom line from our perspective is, when you cut through all the chaff, nobody can deny that public money is going to be taken from public schools, and they’re going to end up in private, mostly religious schools,’’ said Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

He clearly sees it as his sacred RIGHT to take taxpayer’s money and give them whatever education he and his fellows see fit without regard to the parent’s desires.

Sorry, Nate. The REAL bottom line is that FINALLY (at least in one state) parents are going to be able to choose how their tax dollars are used to educate their children according to the PARENTS wishes instead of the state’s wishes. The only people alarmed by this are those with a personal stake in preserving the status quo and those who think the state should trump parents in choosing how their kids should be educated.

I was disappointed in the article for not discussing the details of the voucher program. Is there a dollar limit? Is it a small enough voucher that the reduced revenue to the public school is offset by a reduced student load and fixed costs are still covered? No financial analysis at all, as usual for today’s lousy reporting.

There is no church/state issue here. The vouchers are a credit for the amount of money the child would receive if he/she were going to public school. That money is given to the parents to spend on education as they see appropriate. It just seems that most of these parents believe that a Catholic education is the most appropriate thing for their children.

You’d think the State would be happy. Catholic schools educate children at a fraction of the cost per pupil as the public schools. This should save them money.

Future headline:

Indiana Public Schools see academic improvement in all areas of study.

The Indiana voucher program is an spectacular triumph for Governor Mitch Daniels and it was done not on a whim, but in response to an equally spectacular failure in public education. Our largest school system, Indianapolis Public Schools, has been on academic probation for more than five years and state intervention would have been legally required. More than 80% of IPS students do not live with their fathers. Our second largest system Fort Wayne Community Schools has a graduation rate in the 65% range and two high schools just off probation after 3 years of failing to meet state minimum standards. Another high school on the edge of Fort Wayne was recently closed after five years of failure.

I share your frustration about a lack of facts available on the program. Search engines return a lot of opinions but little in the way of facts. Try the actual site of the State of Indiana:

The program is limited in the number of students accepted. There are family income limits and only accredited schools are eligible. The amount of assistance is also limited so that parents will still have to pay part of the tuition out of their own pockets for the most expensive schools. The voucher amount is a lot less than public schools spend, so the program will also save money for the state and local districts. There is also protection for the private schools so they will not suffer from state control. Approved schools can have the same requirements for all voucher students as the other students. If a school requires religion classes or public service programs, voucher students can be held to the same standards.

Only a student who was previously enrolled in a public school will be accepted for a voucher, and only after the student has been accepted by the school of his parents’ choice. There is an exception for students who had previously been attending accredited private schools on scholarship. This leaves an interesting loophole already noticed by the school some of my nieces atttended. If the parish gives scholarships to all the kindergarten kids, they can be eligible for vouchers for grades 1-12 as long as they meet the income guidelines.

Nice. :thumbsup:

Exactly, it is no different from a college student using a Pell Grant to go to Notre Dame.

Which, frankly, I’m amazed the ACLU and their minions haven’t challenged yet!


I am so proud of my Governor.

The state is also taking over 8 Indianapolis public schools because they are failing.

This was a great bill and will make a huge difference in this state.

I wish Daniels would have decided to run for President.

From the First Amendment;
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

If that doesn’t convince you that there is a separation, this should. From article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, which was signed in 1796 when Washington was President, and ratified in 1797 when Adams was President;

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

That proves it

School vouchers :rolleyes:

I am so glad we don’t have them up here in Canada

Why would you need them? The government funds the Catholic schools already.

To my knowledge, not in B.C., New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, or PEI. We also have private schools here too

I am so glad the Canadians are up in Canada and cannot vote here.

Why are you glad you don’t have them?

I would think this would actually be an apolitical issue promoted by anyone who claims they promote the Democrat party values of “helping the poor”. The first time I learned about the voucher program was a couple of years ago when they took away the voucher of a young black girl being raised by a single mom. Her mom said if they take away the voucher, her daughter would be put back in a public school system that would not allow her daughter to reach her full potential. I believe it was the DC voucher program, and I believe it was Democrats who took it away. If so, they just gave the Republicans one more vote.

Democrats are for the poor in the same sense that KFC is for chicken. They may be interested in whats best for the chicken to an extent of getting better chicken than the competition, but in the end they just need a dead chicken that tastes better.

Democrats just want a block of voter(s) who will either be the chicken, or feel sorry for the chicken.

Some people can’t handle making choices for themselves.

The government knows what’s best. The ideal society would tax the populace 100% and take care of everyone from cradle to grave. It’s what Jesus taught, don’t you know…

Actually, having a limited form of nanny state for those who cannot, or refuse to, take care of themselves won’t be a bad thing. Need to keep them folks separate from the rest of responsible, productive society though.

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