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School Vouchers

November 15, 1998

Re "Wisconsin School Voucher Law Passes Legal Challenge," Nov. 10: The U.S. Supreme Court, except for Justice Stephen G. Breyer, refused to address the impact that the government sanction and promotion of religious schools will have in this country, by refusing to hear the Wisconsin case about state vouchers used to cover the cost of sending children to private or parochial schools.

Our Founding Fathers experienced the intolerance of a church state. Present generations have had little experience with this. Both nonsecular and totalitarian countries have learned well that capturing the minds of the young ensures their stronghold. Public education, with its required adherence to addressing tolerance and equality, has been the cornerstone in keeping this country free. The sanction of paid vouchers to be used for private and religious institutions, allowing them to address their own agendas, is the most alarming thing we can do.

This is about protecting a way of life necessary for a democratic country. The factions promoting school vouchers are also not interested in saving public education or improving it, but it is a message that sells better. They wish to see the country move in a direction the Framers intended to deny through the 1st Amendment.

SHEILA HOFF

Rancho Palos Verdes

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