Religion

Louisiana Rep. Valarie Hodges Outraged by Funding of Muslim Schools

| by Emily Smith
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Louisiana Rep. Valarie Hodges was outraged when she discovered that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan, a voucher program allowing state educational funds to send students to religious-run schools, included funding Muslim schools.

“We need to insure that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools,” Hodges said. “I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana.”

Hodges added that she supported funding only for teaching the fundamentals of the Founding Fathers’ religion: Christianity.

Aside from her ignorance in perceiving Christianity as the only religion in existence, Hodges also neglected to research the Founding Fathers, who were mostly deists and not Christians as The Friendly Atheist noted.

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Hodges also complained that “there are a thousand Muslim schools” in Louisiana that have “sprung up” recently, though Private School Review listed only three. Of those three, only one school has applied for a voucher.

Local lawmakers are also concerned with the bill, which they fear could strip money from heavily state-funded Livingston Parish, the site of one of the best school systems in the state.

The bill, which was meant to prevent high school tuition from paying for college tuition, has created more questions than answers about its long-term effects.

On June 21, the Livingston Parish School Board voted unanimously to challenge the constitutionality of Act 2. Opponents say that the act has no object or purpose and violates a requirement in the state constitution that funding for public schools must be allotted impartially.

The new system also uses public school funds for home schooling, on-line courses, charter schools and college tuition for early graduates.

Sources: Livingston Parish News, The Friendly Atheist, Private School Review