Letter: Public money for religious schools

Siddiqa Majidi, a guidance counselor at Crescent School

Siddiqa Majidi, a guidance counselor at Crescent School in Hempstead, attends a forum in East Williston. (Oct. 17, 2013) (Credit: Danielle Finkelstein )

Is the proposed Education Investment Tax Credit legislation a slippery slope ["Interfaith appeal," News, Oct. 18]? Half of the potential $300 million in yearly assistance would go to religious and independent schools. These are schools for which there are no state requirements for accreditation or licensing.

Yes, paying tuition for private religious institutions may be a burden for families, but it is their free choice to do so. Public education is provided for all, regardless of religious affiliation or socioeconomic status.

Public funds have been available to nonpublic schools for textbooks for decades. Public transportation and other services that meet necessary educational requirements are also provided to families whose students attend nonpublic schools. This system is as it should be; it provides benefits directly to children, and their families, and indirectly to the state.

However, how far should we go? The notion that education is so important to our society and so valuable to the public good that it should be paid for by public money has been a guiding principle in our country for more than a century.

Victor Caliman, South Huntington

Editor's note: The writer is a former public school administrator.
 

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