News & Politics

Your Tax Dollars Fund Creationism In Schools

Americans in 14 states have spent $1 billion on voucher programs that fund anti-science education.

Photo Credit: jcjgphotography/Shutterstock.com

American tax dollars are funding the teaching of creationism in schools.  An in-depth report by Politico’s Stephanie Simonreveals that taxpayers in 14 states are spending $1 billion to fund tuition for private schools, including hundreds of institutions that teach that God created the Earth and that biology and geology are full of lies.

While taxpayers don’t directly fund private schools, they do fund voucher programs that allow parents to spend public money on private schools that have virulently anti-science curricula.  Voucher programs have long been a favored cause for the Christian right.  And the Christian right is now having an impact on what kids are learning.

Simon reports that the “course materials nurture disdain of the secular world, distrust of momentous discoveries and hostility toward mainstream scientists.”  They also “distort basic facts about the scientific method — teaching, for instance, that theories such as evolution are by definition highly speculative because they haven’t been elevated to the status of ‘scientific law.’”

One set of textbooks says that evolution is a “wicked and vain philosophy.”  250,000 students now take advantage of voucher programs--an increase of 30 percent from 2010.

The revelations come as 26 states are considering implementing or expanding the voucher programs that fund this type of education.  

The seeds of such education have been planted by big money funders like the Koch brothers, whose Americans For Prosperity have worked to promote voucher programs.

The Supreme Court has ruled that voucher programs are constitutional as long as they give parents a choice as to where to send their kids.  But the American Civil Liberties Union has filed lawsuits against voucher programs in New Hampshire and Colorado, arguing that they violate the separation of church and state.

“Taxpayer dollars are ending up in the coffers of religious schools, and they use that money to discriminate and indoctrinate,” the ACLU’s Heather Weaver told Politico.

 

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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