Friday, January 18, 2013

You’re Paying For That Mythology

Following up on my post about Zack Kopplin’s fight against teaching creationism in Louisiana public schools, the state is still sending public funding to charter schools that insist Jesus rode a dinosaur.

I first began investigating creationist school vouchers as my part of my fight against creationism in my home state of Louisiana. Over the past few months, I’ve learned creationist vouchers aren’t just a Louisiana problem—they’re an American problem. School vouchers are, as James Gill recently wrote in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “the answer to a creationist’s prayer.”

Liberty Christian School, in Anderson, Indiana, has field trips to the Creation Museum and students learn from the creationist A Beka curriculum. Kingsway Christian School, in Avon, Indiana, also has Creation Museum field trips. Mansfield Christian School, in Ohio, teaches science through the creationist Answers in Genesis website, run by the founder of the Creation Museum. The school’s Philosophy of Science page says, “the literal view of creation is foundational to a Biblical World View.” All three of these schools, and more than 300 schools like them, are receiving taxpayer money.

So far, I have documented 310 schools, in nine states and the District of Columbia that are teaching creationism, and receiving tens of millions of dollars in public money through school voucher programs.

By law, charter schools must be afforded the same funding opportunities through grants as all public schools, and all non-public schools are eligible to apply for federal funding as long as they meet certain criteria.  One of those should be that they teach a curriculum that is based on sound educational principles, including knowing the difference between science and mythology.

I don’t have a problem with a school teaching creationism as long as they put it in the same course along with other works of fiction.