On Jan. 26, Sen. Elizabeth Warren shared a HuffPost article on Twitter bashing private Christian schools for having “anti-LGBTQ+ policies.”
The article focused attention on a U.S. Supreme Court case attacking Montana private religious schools and attempting to take away tax credits to individuals who contributed to private schools because the money supports policies that “discriminate against LGBTQ staff and employees.”
Such policies include having bathrooms designated for people according to their biological gender and hiring faculty and staff who abide by Christian marriage values.
“States should focus on funding public schools, not private ones — especially ones that maintain anti-LGBTQ+ policies. We must ensure every kid–especially LGBTQ+ kids–can get a high-quality public education,” Warren tweeted.
States should focus on funding public schools, not private ones—especially not ones that maintain anti-LGBTQ+ policies. We must ensure every kid—especially LGBTQ+ kids—can get a high-quality public education. https://t.co/hxKap5Ofjm
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 26, 2020
“(T)he program at the center of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which the Supreme Court is hearing later this month, provided tax credits to individuals and corporations that donated to private schools and scholarship groups,” HuffPo explained.
Four of the 13 schools signed up for the Montana tax credit program have implemented policies that HuffPost considered anti-LGBTQ.
It` then cited statements from some of the handbooks.
Foothills Community Christian School’s handbook states that “there is no room for a non-Christian or an uncommitted Christian” to teach at the school.
Heritage Christian School states in its handbook that it reserved “the right to reject students based on ‘sexual conduct (including but not limited to sexual activity outside of marriage, lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender conduct).”
The Stillwater Christian School handbook requires that “students and campus visitors must use restrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities conforming with their biological sex.”
Other handbooks, such as the one published by Helena Christian School, argued that “God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other.”
Public school groups have been vocal about their feelings towards the case, claiming that it “could have a devastating effect on education and play a major role in disintegrating the U.S. doctrine of the separation of church and state.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said that the case could turn the American understanding of “separation of church and state” upside down, and that “it will basically change over 200 years of practice in the United States,” The Daily Wire reported.
Those in favor of public funding for private schools argue that school choice and voucher programs give lower-income students the same opportunities as students from more well-to-do families.
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