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an·ti·dis·es·tab·lish·men·tar·i·an·ism

[….]

noun

opposition to the withdrawal of state support or recognition from an established church….

Well, this couldn’t be more blatant. Right wingnut republicans in the General Assembly want to gut the establishment clause applying to education funding in the Missouri Constitution. At present Missouri has one of the strongest, if not the most explicit establishment clause of any state constitution.

Introduced today by Representative Shane Schoeller (r):

SECOND REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 70

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES SCHOELLER (Sponsor), JONES (89), SHUMAKE, WIELAND, ALLEN, FRANZ, KEENEY, DAVIS, RICHARDSON, DIECKHAUS, CURTMAN AND KOENIG (Co-sponsors).

5181L.01I                                                  D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk

JOINT RESOLUTION

Submitting to the qualified voters of Missouri an amendment repealing section 8 of article IX of the Constitution of Missouri, and adopting one new section in lieu thereof relating to education.

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein:

           That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next following the first Monday in November, 2012, or at a special election to be called by the governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article IX of the Constitution of the state of Missouri:

           Section A. Section 8, article IX, Constitution of Missouri, is repealed and one new section adopted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 8, to read as follows:

           Section 8. Neither the general assembly, nor any county, city, town, township, school district or other municipal corporation[, shall ever make an appropriation or pay from any public fund whatever, anything in aid of any religious creed, church or sectarian purpose, or to help to support or sustain any private or public school, academy, seminary, college, university, or other institution of learning controlled by any religious creed, church or sectarian denomination whatever; nor shall any grant or donation of personal property or real estate ever be made by the state, or any county, city, town, or other municipal corporation, for any religious creed, church, or sectarian purpose whatever] may deny to any individual or entity the general state benefits of any education program, funding, or other support on the basis of religious identity or belief, so long as such general state benefits comply with the requirements of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

[strike through emphasis added]

The proposed change is the exact opposite of the original intent of the section in the Constitution:

Missouri Constitution

Article IX

EDUCATION


Section 8

Prohibition of public aid for religious purposes and institutions.

Section 8. Neither the general assembly, nor any county, city, town, township, school district or other municipal corporation, shall ever make an appropriation or pay from any public fund whatever, anything in aid of any religious creed, church or sectarian purpose, or to help to support or sustain any private or public school, academy, seminary, college, university, or other institution of learning controlled by any religious creed, church or sectarian denomination whatever; nor shall any grant or donation of personal property or real estate ever be made by the state, or any county, city, town, or other municipal corporation, for any religious creed, church, or sectarian purpose whatever.

   Source: Const. of 1875, Art. XI, § 11.

   (1953) Use of state and school district funds for transportation of parochial school students by public school bus which also transported public school children held unlawful. McVey v. Hawkins, 364 Mo. 44, 258 S.W.2d 927.

   (1953) Evidence reviewed and held to establish that schools taught by nuns of religious order were not in fact free public schools and therefore not entitled to support from public funds. Berghorn v. Reorganized School Dist. No. 8, 364 Mo. 121, 260 S.W.2d 573.

   (1973) The provisions of the state constitution notwithstanding educationally deprived children attending nonpublic schools are entitled to receive allocation of federal funds for programs of special services comparable in quality, scope and opportunity to children in public schools. Barrera v. Wheeler (CA Mo.), 475 F.2d 1338.

   (1973) Payment of taxes by parent who sends his children to religiously oriented schools does not interfere with his constitu- tional right to select such a school for his children. McDonough v. Aylward (Mo.), 500 S.W.2d 721.

   (1974) Held, that portion of section 170.051, RSMo, requiring public school boards to provide textbooks to teachers in private schools violates Art. I, §6, of the Const. of Mo. which prohibits the “support” of any “teacher of any sect”. The provision requiring textbooks to be provided to pupils attending private schools violates Art. IX, §8, of the Const. of Mo. which prohibits payment from a public fund in aid of any religious creed, church or sectarian purpose. Paster v. Tussey (Mo.), 512 S.W.2d 97.

   (1974) Memorandum opinion affirming Luetkemeyer et al. v. Kaufmann, 364 F.Supp. 376, which denied right of parochial children to transportation on public school bus, affirmed in memorandum opinion. (U.S.) 95 S.Ct. 167.

They want to defund public education, they want vouchers for religious schools, and they want you to pay for it.