Should the government fund religious schools?

In my Canadian neighborhood, there are four types of school boards funded by the government – English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic. The Catholic school board requires students to learn about the Catholic religion. Although non-Catholics are technically allowed to attend, most attend regular public schools, as they either felt unwelcomed, or were not interested in learning so deeply about a religion other than their own at such a young age. However, I have always been intrigued by the fact that the government would put so much money into a school system that did not support such a large proportion of the Canadian population. On your property tax form in Canada, you can indicate which school system you would like to benefit.

I conducted some research to learn if a similar method of funding exists in the US. I found that the “US Supreme Court has been grappling with the issue of government aid to religious schools since 1930.” States differ in terms of their support for religious schools. For example, while Louisiana legislature passed a law providing textbooks for students enrolled in religious schools, New Jersey has a law in place for state-paid bus transportation for religious schools. If you are interested, please visit the Americans United link attached to learn about several other state laws.

I am curious to hear whether you believe the US government should put funding towards religious schools, or rather strictly focus funding efforts on public schools that are welcoming to every background.

Guiding Questions:

  1. Should the federal government fund religious schools? As such, should religious schools be considered public or private?
  2. Should the state of Michigan allocate funding towards religious schools?
  3. How does funding religious schools affect the prosperity of other schools? Is it taking away crucial resources?