Jan 25 2013




One would think that it is bad enough that LGBT Americans tax dollars are funding the effort to stop the repeal of DOMA in the United States Supreme Court. So far, House Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans have authorized $3 million dollars of public funds to finance the effort to keep DOMA in place. Remember our tax dollars are being used to defeat us.

Now in the State of Georgia, over a 100 schools that have as official policy to deny entrance to any LGBT student are receiving our tax dollars. In essence, taxpayer money, our money, is being used to establish a system of segregated private schools to keep out LGBT students.

The New York Times in an article by Kim Severson reports:

"At issue is an increasingly popular tax credit program that transforms state money into private school scholarships, some of them used at religious-based schools that prohibit gay, lesbian or bisexual students from attending.

The policies at more than 100 such schools are explicit.

The 400 students at a private school in Woodstock, for example, must adhere to a policy that states, “Homosexual behavior, whether an ‘immoral act’ or ‘identifying statement,’ is incompatible with enrollment at Cherokee Christian Schools and is a basis for dismissal.”

A male student at the Shiloh Hills Christian School in Kennesaw, who utters “I like boys” or “I am a homosexual” will be expelled.

And at the 800-student Providence Christian Academy 20 miles north of Atlanta, a student who is gay, lesbian or bisexual or supports people who are could be kicked out.

At least 115 religious-based schools in Georgia have severe antigay policies, according to a report issued this month by the Southern Education Foundation. Public information about the scholarship program is limited by law, so the number is probably much higher, according to the foundation, which was founded in 1867 to improve education for poor children in the South.

Steve Suitts, the vice president of the foundation and the author of the report, said that as many as a third of the schools in the scholarship program have strict antigay policies or adhere to a religious philosophy that holds homosexuality as immoral or a sin.

As a result, his report says, public money is being spent by private educational institutions that “punish, denounce and even demonize students in the name of religion solely because they are gay, state that they are homosexual, happen to have same-sex parents or guardians, or express support or tolerance for gay students at school, away from school or at home.”

The foundation and other supporters of public education have long been critical of the state’s tax scholarship program, which has proved popular among parents at both liberal and conservative private schools.

The scholarships allow individuals and corporations to receive state tax credits for thousands of dollars in donations to nonprofit groups that, in turn, give the money to private schools. The scholarships are often aimed at public school children from low-income families who cannot afford private school.

The tax credit scholarships were conceived in Arizona in 1997 and now run in 11 states, gaining strength each year among people aligned with the school choice movement.

But they have also brought legal challenges from opponents who call the scholarships “neo-vouchers” and argue that they mask the use of public money to pay for education at private schools whose philosophical and educational underpinnings are at odds with state standards.

The program is intended to avoid conflicts between church and state because the money is collected and distributed by nonprofit organizations.

There is little state oversight of those organizations. The Georgia legislature in 2011 tightened the rules regarding how much information about the program the Department of Revenue, which keeps track of the money, can make public.

Since the Georgia program began in 2008, $170 million in tax credits have been given to people who donated to the nonprofit organizations that funnel money to private schools"

Read the entire article here.....