Today's Catholic (Serving the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend) offers an article that gives a good picture of what vouchers really do. After all the rhetoric about choice and free exercise of religion, what are taxpayers really paying for?
Indiana has had a huge voucher program for ten years, and this year, the state budget included a big expansion of the program. The Indiana Catholic Conference lobbied for that expansion, which would "give more middle-income parents the option to choose a faith-based education for their children." Well, yes, because six-figure income families are now eligible.
That emphasis on religious education is the whole point and purpose.* Dr. Joseph Brettnacher, superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese, lays out the mission:The most important aspect of the Choice expansion is that more families will have the ability to send their children to faith-based schools, where students can develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ within His mystical body, the Church. Our goals for students are to create disciples of Jesus Christ, help them fulfill their destiny to become saints and reach heaven.
“We’re still kind of wrapping our head around it, but we think it will help us to be able to do the other activities they’re interested in – the sporting events, the camps, the extracurricular things outside of school,” Glenn shared.
“I feel like this is going to help us tremendously to be able to do those things more often: go to the zoo, go to the movies,” Glenn said. “We’re excited: This is going to take some of the stress off our shoulders.”