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How Vouchers Tear Down the Wall Between Church and State

Governor Greg Abbott says he has enough votes in the Texas House of Representatives next year to pass his school voucher plan. A look around the country shows how it will likely be used to tear down the wall between church and state.

Last week, RA News laid out how voucher systems tend to benefit the wealthy and middle class more than underserved families. This week, let’s look at Dream City Christian School in Arizona and see how it is a harbinger of Texas’s future.

Dream City is partnered with Turning Point USA, a radical conservative organization that focuses on introducing regressive policies affecting schools. Their partnership with Dream City is the first of their Turning Point Academies, which pushes anti-LGBT lessons and prohibits teaching the role of white supremacy in American history.

Bear in mind, Abbott has repeatedly leaned on conservative opposition to these concepts in pushing his voucher narrative. He has repeatedly used the specter of liberal indoctrination as a way to build support for the idea of using public funds for wealthy Christin schools. Should vouchers pass in Texas, and a flood of state money roll into the coffers of Christian schools, there is little doubt Turning Point USA would immediately seek similar partnerships.

Which is a major problem because the lines between education and political activism in this part of Arizona are perforated right now. The parent company of Dream City Christian School, Dream City Church, openly hosts fundraisers for figures like former president and current felon Donald Trump. He spoke at Dream City last week.

So, a school that has received nearly a million dollars in taxpayer funds through vouchers is owned by a church that is openly (and possibly unconstitutionally) fundraising for the presumed Republican nominee for president, and both are partnered with one of the largest and most extreme conservative activist groups in the country. However you look at it, that is a lot of public resources dribbling into the cause of making churches richer and ingratiating themselves to a possible future president.

Abbott has already laid the groundwork for that system here in Texas. Last year, he toured the state’s religious schools and openly called for support from the religious community to back his voucher plan. The governor made it clear he wanted the money to go to pushing radical conservative ideas that were not allowed in public schools.

“We will not teach our students to hate the United States of America,” said Abbot last March. “Parents are angry about experiences they’ve had in school. Some parents remain angry that their children were forced to wear a mask to school against the parents’ desires and against the child’s desires… Parents are angry about the woke agenda that’s being forced on their children in schools. Schools should not be pushing a woke agenda on our children. Our schools are for education, not indoctrination.”

Arizona shows that the voucher system will funnel money from all taxpayers into the pockets of a tag team of religious and conservative operatives to further cement Republican control.

Jef Rouner
Jef Rouner
Jef Rouner is an award-winning freelance journalist, the author of The Rook Circle, and a member of The Black Math Experiment. He lives in Houston where he spends most of his time investigating corruption and strange happenings. Jef has written for Houston Press, Free Press Houston, and Houston Chronicle.


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