Cranford, NJ–In response to President Trump’s call for a $5 billion giveaway to religious schools at his 2020 State of the Union Address, American Atheists’ president Nick Fish released the following statement:
Americans agree: public funding is for public schools. Only a small minority—a mere quarter of Americans—supports taxpayer money going to religious education. Nonetheless, President Trump and Betsy DeVos are pandering to religious extremists at the expense of the 91% of students who are in public schools.
These voucher schemes rob public schools to fund discriminatory religious schools that turn away students with disabilities, LGBTQ students, and students who are the ‘wrong’ religion. What’s more, these private schools often harm students’ academic outcomes. In fact, despite the President’s false claim that public schools are ‘failing,’ multiple studies have shown that public school students perform better than students in voucher programs.
If President Trump wanted to put our nation’s young people first, he would ensure that they receive a quality education that puts facts above religious dogma. But instead, he’s selling out public school students in a cynical ploy to win the support of the religious groups he needs for re-election. It’s shameful.