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Monday, March 24, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "Taxpayers fund creationism in the classroom"

Politico today has a very long "special" by Stephanie Simon. It begins:

Taxpayers in 14 states will bankroll nearly $1 billion this year in tuition for private schools, including hundreds of religious schools that teach Earth is less than 10,000 years old, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with dinosaurs, and much of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a web of lies. * * *

Decades of litigation have established that public schools cannot teach creationism or intelligent design. But private schools receiving public subsidies can — and do. A POLITICO review of hundreds of pages of course outlines, textbooks and school websites found that many of these faith-based schools go beyond teaching the biblical story of the six days of creation as literal fact. Their course materials nurture disdain of the secular world, distrust of momentous discoveries and hostility toward mainstream scientists. They often 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.”

And this approach isn’t confined to high school biology class; it is typically threaded through all grades and all subjects.

Here are the two paragraphs directly referring to Indiana:
The Friedman Foundation, which supports vouchers, last year asked hundreds of families receiving tax-credit scholarships in Georgia why they chose a private school. “Religious education” tied with “better education” as the single most important motivation, far above the other choices.

A second Friedman Foundation survey of 1,400 voucher recipients in Indiana yielded similar results. Parents overwhelmingly cited “better academics” as their top reason, closely followed by “morals instruction” and “religious instruction.” Other motivations, such as a safer environment or smaller class sizes, fell way down the list. * * *

Most programs start out targeted at low-income or disabled children, but they often expand. In Indiana, a family of four with an income of $88,000 is eligible for a partial voucher. In Pennsylvania, families with income above $100,000 can qualify if their local public school posts poor test scores. An Arizona bill would raise the income cutoff by 15 percent a year indefinitely.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 24, 2014 08:50 AM
Posted to Indiana Government