Common Dreams NewsCenter

We Can't Do It Without You!

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

Home > Progressive Community > NewsWire > For Immediate Release
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
NOVEMBER 22, 2004
1:40 PM
CONTACT: Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
Telephone (202) 466-3234; Facsimile (202) 466-2587
Taxpayer-Funded Americorps Program Should Not Promote Religion, Watchdog Group Says
Americans United Urges Appellate Panel To Bar Religious Instruction By Program Participants

WASHINGTON -- November 22 -- Teachers taking part in the taxpayer-funded AmeriCorps program should not be permitted to engage in religious instruction at sectarian schools, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has advised a federal appeals court.

The AmeriCorps program, run by the Corporation for National and Community Service, provides stipends called “national service education awards” to individuals for work at certain locations around the country.

Some of these positions are at religious schools, and some of the award recipients teach religion and lead religious activities as part of their work at these schools. A U.S. District Court ruled July 2 that the arrangement is unconstitutional. The federal government has appealed.

“This program provides teachers to parochial schools at taxpayer expense,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “It is patently unconstitutional.”

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed today, Americans United asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to rule against religion subsidies in the program.

“Here, religious institutions actually use AmeriCorps participants and grant funds for religious instruction and activities,” reads the brief. “The government has failed to create an effective system for monitoring how the aid is used. The aid consists of religious instructors who have received religious training from faith-based institutions. And the instructors perform core teaching functions at parochial schools.”

Joining Americans United in the brief are the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, and People For the American Way Foundation. The case is Corporation for National and Community Service v. American Jewish Congress.


Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
Read our Guidelines for Submitting News Releases is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.