Kudos to George Herbert [Sept. 14 letter], John Robitzek [Sept. 28 letter], and Judy Richards [Oct. 2 letter] for pointing out the dangerous pitfalls of a state Constitutional Convention. Ethics reform is a teaser; the Legislature is mostly lawyers, and any ethics “reform” will have loopholes big enough to drive a tank through. Special thanks to Ms. Richards for reminding us that voters must turn the ballot over in order to vote “no.”
Another issue that has not been addressed is the threatened elimination of Article XI, Section 3 of the state constitution, which states that no public money will be used directly or indirectly for private or religious schools.
In 1967, the last time a Constitutional Convention was held, the issue of money to parochial schools was at the forefront of the debate; the proposed constitution was voted down overwhelmingly because the majority of citizens didn’t wish to subsidize religious education. Catholic Church hierarchy were unhappy. Decades later, their attitude is unchanged. Now, we have even more religious groups anxious to dip into the public trough to finance their schools. These schools already have transportation and textbooks paid for by local school districts.
Public schools welcome all students. Private and religious schools may, by law, choose who will attend. In many instances, religion permeates any and all class subjects. You will also hear a phony argument of “double taxation.” Parents educating their children privately and paying tuition choose to do so.
The very first words of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” It extends to the states by the 14th Amendment. Aid to religious schools would most certainly constitute religious establishment.
Turn your ballot over and vote no to a Constitutional Convention on Nov. 7.