This is inspired by the current voucher debate.
David B noted that his primary objection to vouchers was Seperation of Church and State issues. He qualified this further to state that he would not necessarily endorse vouchers given an absence of the issue, though.
I maintain that vouchers should not be considered as primarily a Socas issue. Certainly there are complex issues that need to be hashed out.
Normally, I would beleive that a parochial school should receive no Federal funds whatsoever.
Given, for purposes of this discussion that some public schools are failing in their responsibility to teach our children at a minimally acceptable level, and that religious issues aside, vouchers are a valid emergency solution to this problem, then it seems foolish to me to deny aid from this quarter, based simply that in addition to the secular role of education a parochial school also has a religious mission.
A voucher program which excluded parochial schools would be discriminatory.
Consider a sick nun. Would we deny her medicare on SOCAS principles on the grounds that funding her health would further her religious mission? Of course not. She is a person as well as a nun.
These are schools as well as religious institutions.
As always, David B provide thoughtful links:
From that link:
This is slightly misleading as the first case is not a voucher program.
It is true that the U.S. Supreme court has never upheld voucher programs relating to SOCAS, However neither have they ruled against them. The U.S. Supreme Court remains undecided on the issue.
In fact, several state supreme courts have upheld the constitutionality of voucher money going to parochial schools, notably Wisconsin.
The above assertions are supported by this link which IMO presents a reasonably balanced take on both sides of the issue.
The primary issue to me is that of entanglement. Just as the State may not support religious organizations, such religious organizations are protected from Government interference. Accountability, necesitates entanglement. How to maintain accountability without impinging upon these organizations religious freedom, or have public students attend such a school without impinging on their religious freedoms?
While a complex and thorny issue, entanglement does not in my mind represent an insurmountable barrier.
Pertinent quotes from both sides of the issue from my link: