Last week, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited two New York City schools – neither of them a public school – and spoke before Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, and other prominent Catholics, making a strong statement in favor of public funding for religious schools.Via Progressive Secular Humanist:
Speaking about her desire to use taxpayer money to support religious schools, DeVos told her audience:
I know very well there are powerful interests that want to deprive families their God-given freedom. I know that those sycophants of ‘the system’ have kept legislators here from enacting a common-sense program that would open options to thousands of kids in need.
DeVos also took aim at Blaine Amendments – “constitutional provisions in 38 of the 50 state constitutions in the United States that forbid direct government aid to educational institutions that have a religious affiliation.”
*As many of you know, the Supreme Court ruled in last year’s Trinity Lutheran case that it was unconstitutional for a playground restoration program funded by state-taxpayers to exclude a school ‘simply because of what it is – a church.’
These amendments should be assigned to the ash heap of history…*
DeVos essentially has argued for dismantling the separation between church and state, but this should come as a surprise to no one:
Previously, when asked about spending taxpayer dollars on private and religious schools, DeVos declared:
There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education…[versus] what is currently being spent every year on education in this country… Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s Kingdom.