The budget earmark was an “explicit direct contradiction” of the state’s Constitution, according to one legal expert
Thanks to Hemant for bringing this to my attention in August of 2022. I was able to get in touch with FFRF and be the lead plaintiff in this case, along with three others (Ian quoted in the article is also based in Greenville County). I was the one that had standing in that my two kids go to schools in Greenville County and was asked to be the lead plaintiff by FFRF. I must admit that it was a bit nerve wracking given the possible blowback I could face given where I live (home of Bob Jones University for one). I even had to sit down with my two teenagers and explain what was about to happen and reassure them that this was something that their dad had to do, to take a stand. It was satisfying to take a stand for the Establishment Clause and I was pleasantly surprised that the South Carolina Constitution is even stronger in its prohibition of tax payer funds going to sectarian institutions. A major thank you to Patrick Elliott and Karen Heineman of FFRF and Steven Buckingham, the local SC based attorney that handled the case for us and FFRF. I was pleased at the outcome for the most part, what with the judge tossing out the case as Christian Learning Centers of Greenville County withdrew their request for the money. But a win is a win. Ian was correct in that this being SC, more of this can be expected. It just means that more people need to stand up for secularism and the separation of church and state more than ever.
No religious institution, be it a school or otherwise, should ever get one cent of public money, for any reason. The law makers who thought they could get away with this would go out of their tiny little minds at the mere suggestion public money go to an Islamic school. There needs to be national legislation that bars religious organizations from having access to public schools, period. It isn't as if this country suffers from a lack of churches.
"APPEARS" to violate State / Church separation?!? There's no "APPEARS" about it; it DOES violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, so blatantly that a blind man could see it with a cane. It's bad enough that some states provide vouchers for private (and mostly Christian schools). When a state budget has a line item like that, alarm bells should go off with ANYONE who genuinely cares about the secular nature of our government.
Thankfully, it was stopped here. Question is: where else is stuff like this going on?
The state constitution bans any private school from taxpayer money, good. Then they cannot say that it is discriminatory toward Christianity. A secular private school cannot get any tax money either, nor can a Jewish school or Muslim school, or a Satanist school. So the persecution card is void, even though they’ll cry persecution till the cows come home.
Tax money for public schools need to go to public schools, full stop. Vouchers are essentially unconstitutional in this state and no politician should be trying to bring them up. Vouchers should be unconstitutional everywhere too. They’re an end run around directly defunding public schools. They can’t win on that platform, so the GOP lies about what vouchers really are, calling them parental choice, but they’re really defund the public school system so the poor and minorities don’t get an education at all.
𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐶ℎ𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑛 𝑠𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑜𝑙 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑎𝑣𝑜𝑖𝑑 𝑔𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑑𝑒𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠
Because of course they did. They think the only time they should be held accountable for their actions is after they die, and even then they expect to be rewarded instead of punished for their blatant disregard for others.
Anyone from Wisconsin (or, heck, anywhere really) who's reading this might want to get behind the efforts of Kirk Bangstad of the Minocqua Brewing Company's Super PAC, which is sponsoring a lawsuit to get parochial-school vouchers declared unconstitutional here in the Badger State.
95% of the private schools in Wisconsin are affiliated with some religious organization. As private entities, they are free to pick and choose their students, so they can (and DO) discriminate on the basis of not only religion but academic talent, athletic ability, able-bodiedness, and (not loudly) race and ethnicity. By being able to cherry-pick their students from the public schools (which, by law, must serve EVERYBODY), they are reducing the public schools to being the educational option of last resort.
Aiding in this process are two American social movements: Christian nationalists (who oppose secularization in all aspects of public life) and economic conservatives (who oppose public funding of pretty much everything except national defense). And, thru their influence on the most gerrymandered state legislature in the nation, they've rigged the state budget so that it now gives MORE money on a per-pupil basis to private schools than public ones. They've made this task even easier by imposing cost controls and levy limits on the public schools and allowing the state share of school costs to dwindle from its former two-thirds to less than half, piling more and more burden on inequitable local property taxes.
Bangstad's Super PAC has filed a lawsuit challenging this state of affairs on the basis of both the state constitution's mandate to support public education and the federal First Amendment guarantee forbidding a government establishment of religion. As a fund-raiser to help finance this lawsuit, they're offering a very nice T-shirt that lets you show the world that you favor keeping church and state separate. You may order one here:
O/T: Would you believe that Moms For Liberty Leader is a registered sex offender?
Part of a long line of grifters trying to get their hands on the public till, like for profit universities grabbing student loan money, personal finance companies gunning for Social Security money, and private prisons violating prisoners rights for upfront discounts to set up long term profits.
$1.5 million for a christian school $6000 for nutrition? Illustrative.
Hope South Carolina isn't pumping tax money into one of these...
GLC of Greenville County wants $$$? It's very simple. Do what their savior told them and pray for it in his name. Pop's will come through. Jesus hisself guarandamntees it.
I wonder if the students accepted if this "learning center" had been built would all suffer of bone spurs.
“Wow, we didn’t think we’d get caught with our Hans in the cookie jar. Those folks whose money we’re stealing shouldn’t have any say in how this money is being spent, the governor should be able to just dole it out as he sees fit. No silly constitution rules should be considered. I guess we’ll just withdraw and try again later.”
Good for these citizens for paying attention and standing up for what is right.
The facility for troubled youth would have required a great deal of oversight. Especially because it’s religious. Because we know how abusive they get in general, but the religious ones have quite the cruel streak when it comes to vulnerable youth. I’m glad they aren’t getting the money yet.
NO ROOM for hate.
OUR rights imperiled by evil kkkons
42nd-ranked South Carolina is also ranked 42nd in Education. I'm thinking that those taxpayer dollars would be better spent on the Palmetto State's public school system.