|TAX RIP-OFF by Rollin Russel|
March 6, 2016
Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh could receive $563,800 from your tax dollars for this academic year. Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham could get $550,200, all from the state budget intended for public schools. This money is funding religious instruction all over our state thanks to North Carolina's so-called Opportunity Scholarship Program.
Students receive vouchers for up to $4,200 for tuition to attend "any non-public school." For 2015-16 there were a total of 6,697 applications, 139 applied to go to Word of God Academy, 131 have applied for Mt. Zion Academy. Do the math. The vast majority of the 245 schools which the applicants choose to attend are evangelical or fundamentalist Christian schools of recent vintage, founded by churches or religious groups, run by religious leaders and teaching religious doctrine.
These schools are not subject to state standards for testing, curriculum or teacher certification. Unlike public schools, they are not accountable to our elected school boards nor to the Department of Public Instruction. They do not have to report corporal punishment and so may use it with impunity. They are free to use government funds to teach their religious views and beliefs.
A majority of North Carolinians do not want their tax dollars used for religious instruction and do not want to see our public schools robbed of the funds intended for them. Indeed, 72 of the state's 115 school districts are on record opposing this program. The voucher program is not supported by North Carolinians, and it should be stopped.
Politics used for religious purposes and religion used for political purposes undermine the integrity of both.
April 21, 2017
I HAVE a confession to make: I like Marwan Barghouti.