Friday, April 24, 2009

State of GA Tries to Backdoor Taxpayer Funding of Religious Schools

While this shouldn't come as a surprise, it still boggles the mind.

GA has a long history of trampling on civil liberties. When it comes to melding religion & politics, the state of GA never fails to disappoint. Whether it is a Bible in the High School Class; a Ten Commandments on
gov't property; or the moment of silence to force little Johnny & Susie to pray whether they want to or not, GA is hard to beat in the coercion category.

Now, GA ha taken a cue from Arizona & has produced a similar school voucher bill that would, in effect, allow taxpayer money to go to religious schools. The AZ program was just struck down
by the circuit court three days ago so here's hoping the Governor of GA will have the Good Sense to not sign this bill --- yeah, right. Fat chance.

Here is a quote from the Americans United email I received yesterday:

Among several changes, HB 100 would allow families to receive a credit for as much as 75% of their tax liability for donating to an organization that gives scholarships for private education. During the current economic downturn, Georgia cannot afford to lose any more money on this voucher scheme. There are plenty of good uses for taxpayer dollars, but HB 100 would simply funnel more money to families who wish to send their children to private or religious schools

Wow. That sounds very similar to the AZ program. Here is a brief quote from Religion Clause on the AZ program:

... the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ... went on to conclude that plaintiffs' allegations state a claim that Arizona's program as applied violates the Establishment Clause. Arizona grants a tax credit of up to $500 to individuals who contribute funds to nonprofit "school tuition organizations." STO's in turn award private school scholarships to children. In practice, 85% of contributed funds are available only for scholarships to religious schools ... The court wrote at length distinguishing Arizona's plan from the school voucher program upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Zelman case. Here, while taxpayers have a choice of which STO's they will support, parents' choices are constrained by taxpayers' decisions of which STO's to fund. The state has delegated discretion to taxpayers that is used to create incentives for parents to send their children to religious schools.
Again, I doubt that Governor Sonny Perdue will do the right thing on this one. Never has on anything like it in the past.

Click here for an automated email that tells Governor Perdue to veto HB 100.

1 comment:

Georgia Mountain Man said...

You can bet your little booties that he will sign it and cost the state millions in legal fees defending it.