The Freedom From Religion Foundation is thrilled to announce that, thanks to the advocacy of its members and other secular organizations, Congress has frozen a plot to create a new voucher scheme for students from military families.
Earlier this spring, members of Congress introduced the Military Education Savings Accounts Act (HR 5199 / S. 2517), which would have created a private school voucher program for students with an active-duty parent in the military. Anticipating efforts to attach this bill to the National Defense Authorization Act, FFRF asked its members to contact their members of Congress asking that they oppose adding vouchers to the defense authorization bill. It has been reported that the voucher scheme will not be considered as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
FFRF is hailing Congress for its decision, which protects Impact Aid funding designed to support the public schools that serve military-connected students, in order to pay for vouchers at private and religious schools. The bill, proposed by Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., would have hurt the very students it claimed to help by draining this funding and undermining the public schools that will continue to serve the majority of military-connected students. That’s why groups like the National Military Family Association and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) opposed the proposal.
There are many other reasons to oppose vouchers: They threaten religious freedom, lack accountability, deprive students of rights and protections and don’t adequately serve students with disabilities. Our service members’ children deserve better. Congress did the right thing by keeping this deeply misguided bill out of the National Defense Authorization Act.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is committed to continuous opposition to any proposal that would create a private school voucher plan for military students. The men and women who serve our country deserve excellent public schools for their children — not private school vouchers.