Check out the quote from DVAU Chapter Vice-President Janice Rael in AU’s recent blog, talking about the letter DVAU sent to NJ legislators opposing taxpayer aid to religious schools. We had a lot of help from Americans United’s staff in speaking out against NJ Governor Christie’s plan to give millions of dollars to two religious schools! Please click through the link below the quote to read the whole story!
In a letter yesterday to State Senate President Stephen Sweeney and General Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, AU’s Delaware Valley Chapter urged lawmakers to reject proposed grants to two religious schools in the state.
Gov. Chris Christie wants to give $10.6 million to Beth Medrash Govoha, a rabbinical school, and $645,000 to Princeton Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian-affiliated school that trains ministers.
The grants are part of a $1.3 billion allocation through the Higher Education Capital Financing Grant Program, and AU says legislators should block the whole thing if necessary rather than fund religious instruction and discrimination.
“Although we recognize the value in improving our state’s higher education facilities, grants to seminaries and rabbinical schools violate the U.S. and New Jersey Constitutions,” wrote AU Chapter Vice President Janice Rael and AU Legislative Counsel Elise Helgesen. “Accordingly, we ask you to reject the project list and redirect the money to nonsectarian colleges and universities.”
Under the Christie plan, the seminary would get money for a new conference center and internet technology upgrades. The yeshiva, an all-male institution, would get funds for a new library and academic center.
AU noted that the grant program allowed state officials to decide which schools got the taxpayer dough and that created the opportunity for favoritism toward certain religions.
Said AU, “The fact that the Christie administration refuses to reveal its approval criteria exacerbates the problem of real or perceived favoritism.”
Indeed, it does.
Read the rest of the story here: via A Message From AU: N.J. Lawmakers Should Block Grants For Religious Schools | Americans United.