In Louisiana, the Governor’s Voucher Program Could Send $11,000,000 to Creationism-Endorsing Schools

Zach Kopplin reports that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal‘s school voucher program has a significant problem:

Now Governor Jindal has passed a voucher plan which provides millions of taxpayer dollars to private schools that teach creationism and whose curriculum doesn’t meet the state’s approved science standards.

My review of the Governor’s voucher program identifies at least 20 schools who use a creationist curriculum or blatantly promote creationism on their websites. These 20 schools have been awarded 1,365 voucher slots and can receive as much as $11,602,500 in taxpayer money annually.

Those are only the ones Zach could find documentation for. There are probably many more that don’t brag about it explicitly.

This is why voucher programs should not be providing money for religious education. Taxpayer money is being used to make Louisiana’s students dumber.

Zach reaches the same conclusion:

Governor Jindal claims that he created the voucher program because private schools would offer a better education for Louisiana students. The truth is that schools that teach creationism will give our students a worse education. Schools that teach creationism and do not meet Louisiana’s state science standards will not give our students a better education and have no business receiving public funds.

You can sign this petition if you agree. Meanwhile, spread the word that Governor Jindal is hurting the students of Louisiana by letting government funds be used to teach Creationism to students.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Onamission5

    Call me silly, but I am guessing that 11 million in taxpayer dollars would go a long way in improving the education one could get at LA public schools. Private schools are already sufficiently well funded. It’s the public system which needs that money. I do not understand how redirecting school funds to private institutions helps anything.

    • Gus Snarp

      I absolutely agree with you. The whole notion of voucher (and charter schools) is antithetical to providing a quality public education. Every dollar spent on a voucher is a dollar taken from public schools. Meanwhile, private schools simply cannot, and will not be able to, serve every student. Not only that, but they’ll don’t have to serve every student. All that means that while vouchers might be great for the handful of students who are able to use them to go to a quality school, they effectively guarantee that most students will be left behind at a school where the students who need the most help have been effectively concentrated and where the funds have been reduced. In my own public school system 20% of the entire district budget is spent, by law, on charter schools and vouchers, and that’s just fundamentally wrong. Those are my tax dollars, intended to support schools that serve ALL children.

      • Onamission5

        You make a solid point about the neediest and most underserved often being the children who are left behind in underfunded public schools when the other kids move on to overfunded private schools via vouchers, or are enrolled in charters. Special needs kids, kids with “behavior problems,”  kids whose grades don’t make the cut, kids whose parents can’t afford to transport them across town every day, these are the kids who need services the most, and also the ones who are most often left wanting.

        I don’t resent the existence of charter or private school programs. They serve a need, they serve a purpose. However, I do question the politics of education involved when the least needy are the ones who end up with the lions share of funding, and the most needy can’t get books, teacher’s aids or paraprofessionals in the classroom because there’s not enough tax money left. That seems… not right, on a visceral level.

    • Yoav

       Voucher programs and charter schools are the equivalent of the extravagant hand wave used by magicians to misdirect the crowds attention while they pocket the coin. They know that if they just eliminated public schools right away there will be a serious backlash but if they first move anyone but the very poor to charter schools or give them vouchers to private schools then they can quietly eliminate the public school system and count on most people to stay quite since, you know, my kids are not in the public school system anymore, why should I care? Once the public school are dead the vouchers will suddenly turn out to be evil socialzm and will disappear as well and you will be left with what the gazillioners who own the republican party wanted all along, a society where if you’re born rich you can get a good education and stay rich while everybody else are begging for scraps so you can employ them in your sweatshops.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    The learner will be expected to defend creationism through evidence presented by the Bible verses traditional scientific theory.

    “Verses” rather than “versus.”  It looks like the school administration has the same exemplary level of education that they plan to give to the students.

    • Gus Snarp

      I was trying to figure out what they left out of that sentence, it didn’t occur to me that it was a spelling error!

    • Sindigo

      Dammit! That’s what I came here to say. ;)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LRQMOHABUEJOP5RWF3FJOMPCHQ CarlS

    Strange how none of the goals of these schools have anything to do with actually learning stuff.

  • BillJude56

    As a Brown Univ graduate, I’m embarrassed that Jindal and I share anything. Gary Trudeau summed it up perfectly…http://conspiracyfactory.blogspot.com/2007/05/gary-trudeaus-take-on.html

  • Edmond

    Ugh.  The point of science is to learn information that you can DO something with.  Create a vaccine against a deadly pathogen, develop a method for detecting subatomic particles, engineer a taller, more stable skyscraper.

    What can you “do” with Creationism?  What has Creationism ever produced?  What science or technology has it sparked?  What innovations have been advanced?  What breakthroughs, what cures, what benefits?

    ANYTHING?

    • Baby_Raptor

      Keeping the sheep in line?

  • Bender

    As Archer would say, how are you a superpower?

  • Yoav

    Using buybull verses to disprove evolution is just the start of it. LA children are also going  to be thought, at tax payer expense,  about the Loch Ness monster, that the Flintstones should be viewed as a documentary, that the idea that the sun generate heat by nuclear fusion is a myth and, by the way, the KKK are just a really nice bunch of people who happen to like the color white.

  • Blanc_Slate

    And the south wonders why they suffer in math and science education. Even worse, they drag the rest of the country down when compared to other industrialized nations.

  • Anon

    “The learner will be expected to defend creationism through evidence presented by the Bible verses traditional scientific theory.”
    My Spider Man comic book presents evidence that Spider Man exists, therefore he exists.

  • newavocation

    Look at it this way, after a couple of generations, tourists will be safariing through Louisiana photographing the strange primitive people. 

    • Forrest Pugh

       Don’t they already do that? We have “Educational” shows on all the Science/Discovery channels revolving around Crazy Cooters Critter Catching Company, or the Swamp Loggers, or Gator Wrestlers, or Catfish Noodlers, etc.

      I don’t know how any of these actually provide *any* shred of actual education, but they ARE very much like a safari.

  • Keulan

    That some of these private schools supported by Jindal’s voucher program endorse creationism is bad enough. Just as bad is the stuff above and below that circled passage. Requirements of daily prayers, chapel services, “Praise and Worship” services, showing “evidence of Christian Character”, and so forth. I don’t like the sound of any of those as well.


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