At Least Six Children Couldn’t Attend a Christian School Through a Voucher Program Because of This State’s Decision

Bethel Christian Academy in Maryland sued the state after it removed the school from a voucher program that benefits low-income students.

The religiously affiliated school holds to the Christian doctrine on marriage: the God-ordained union between one man and one woman. However, Bethel has never rejected a student for being homosexual. But Maryland kicked the school out of the program anyway. The state also demanded the money Bethel already used as part of the program.

The Daily Signal reported about those who’ve been impacted by the state’s decision. The principal told the Daily Signal that six students couldn’t afford to attend the school in the past year because of what the state did.

An attorney at Bethel’s legal counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, said the state can’t require a religious organization to change policy or beliefs.

“It’s sad that a government is so hostile to traditional marriage that it is willing to harm students in the process,” Christina Holcomb said.

A Heritage Foundation director summed up what choice actually means (emphasis added).

Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that “if private schools cannot operate according to their beliefs, we don’t have school choice any more.”

The state of Maryland does not require students to attend any particular school through the voucher program.

No student is forced to attend Bethel and accept its particular religious views, which Burke noted is the purpose of school choice.

“No child is assigned to a private school that holds beliefs with which they disagree,” Burke said. “Private schools are simply providing their services in exchange for tuition. Families can then choose to pay for the services they offer.”

Photo credit: Bethel Christian Academy’s Facebook page

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