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Should Private Schools With 'Anti-Gay' Policies Get Public Funding?

A report released in January names some Gwinnett County private schools as those receiving state dollars despite "anti-gay" policies. Do you think this is a fair practice in your community?

According to a report recently released by the Southern Education Foundation, some scholarship money generated through a Georgia tax credit program has been used at religious schools that ban gay, lesbian and bisexual students.

And, those schools should not be given the public funding, the report asserts.

At least two of the schools named in the report are located in Gwinnett County:

  • Hebron Christian Academy in Dacula
  • Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn

In 2008, legislators established a tax credit program to allow individual and corporate taxpayers to contribute to qualified student scholarship organizations and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit against their Georgia income tax liabilities. SSOs provide the funds to private schools for all or part of a student’s tuition.

Although the amounts awarded to each school are unknown, more than $170 million in taxpayer funds have been set aside to cover the tuition costs of students in private schools during the last four years.

And, the Southern Education Foundation knows of at least 115 private schools in the tax credit scholarship program that have severe anti-gay policies or belong to state and national private school associations that promote anti-gay policies, according to the report.

"Altogether, as much as one-third of all private schools participating in Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program may be governed by the schools’ explicit anti-gay policies or their church’s anti-gay statements of faith," the report reads.

And that count, according to the report, is likely an understatement.

The Southern Education Foundation does not take issue with the policies of the schools. They have a constitutional right to believe whatever they want to believe and to operate their private affairs in accordance with those beliefs, the foundation said.

But schools that "exclude, condemn, and demonize students for who they are and who they accept in their lives" should not receive public funds, the foundation wrote in its report. "Tax dollars should go to schools that educate all students. That is the promise and virtue of our democracy."

Click here to read the full report from the Southern Education Foundation. It is also attached to this article as a PDF. Click here to read about other metro Atlanta schools listed in the report.

Should public money be used to assist needy families who want to send their children to private schools with explicit anti-gay policies? Tell us in the comment section below.

Good Grief Y'all February 03, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Without public education and tax-dollar support, you would see widespread educational disparity in our communities. There are many rural and poor districts with little local revenue and citizens with low-paying jobs who couldn't afford to educate their children privately. Some of the best minds come from those areas. What a shame to waste them. How heartless not to care.
Good Grief Y'all February 03, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Damn, Mr. B! I guess we've all been duped for 200+ years! Except, wait . . . "Section 8. Clause 1. The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States." I believe this is known as the General Welfare Clause. And, the 16th Amendment authorizing federal income tax: "Passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913, the 16th amendment established Congress's right to impose a Federal income tax."
R February 04, 2013 at 12:29 AM
No
Rusty Taylor February 05, 2013 at 06:19 PM
@ Afairhope... private schools proliferated AFTER they started taking GOD out of schools. The majority of private schools are RELIGIOUS not segregated. I went to one and it had NOTHING to do with trying to be segregated.
Rusty Taylor February 05, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Actually a tax credit does not mean that you are getting government money, a tax credit means that they are allowing you to keep more of YOUR MONEY.

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