On its face, sending money to religious schools ought to be unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s prohibition against promoting religion. The designers of vouchers cleverly got around that by sending “vouchers” to families who meet certain financial guidelines and who, in turn, pay for tuition at a private school.
So now Jewish taxpayers are helping fund Christian schools, nonbelievers are contributing to devout fundamentalists, and scientists are helping pay for evolution deniers.
Worse, though, is that the proliferation of vouchers is eating at the very fabric of the American public education system — a system in which children of all beliefs, creeds and colors learn about each other, share experiences and explore conflicting ideas so that they can intelligently engage in the complexities of American democracy.
That’s what is so dangerous about vouchers. Using taxpayer dollars, they promote putting people who look alike and think alike with each other. That may be your view of the world, but don’t ask others to pay for it.
Related: Sweden’s voucher system.