This week, the Missouri Senate will be considering SJR 47, a bill to create a ballot measure to amend the Missouri Constitution’s “no-aid” provision. If enacted, this would allow taxpayer-funded private and religious school vouchers.
You can review the bill at http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=317058
38 states, including Missouri, currently have no-aid provisions as part of their constitutions. These provisions prevent public taxpayer funds from being by sectarian institutions and entities, and would repeal the part of the existing constitutional provision barring public funds for religious schools.
If passed, this amendment would allow private and religious school vouchers in Missouri. Voucher programs are ineffective, costly, and divert taxpayer dollars from public schools to religious education, often without accountability standards in place.
In addition, by removing this provision from the state constitution, Missouri may be in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution requiring that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”
By permitting vouchers for religious K-12 schools, the government of Missouri will be establishing support for religion based education and, therefore, making a law in regards to religion.
Please contact your state senator by March 20 and tell them to oppose SJR 47. Tell them, “I am opposed to SJR 47 because true religious liberty is at stake and private school vouchers are bad for students, parents, and taxpayers.”