Voucher Bill for Schools Is Debated Measure Would Give State Aid to Pupils in Private Schools

Article excerpt

Geraldine Stewart asked the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday for help to continue sending her two daughters to Rosati-Kain High School, an all-girls Catholic school in St. Louis.

Stewart testified in favor of a state constitutional amendment that would allow parents to get aid from the state to send their children to any school - public or private. Opponents said it would lead to the abandonment of public schools and would violate the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.

Stewart said it was hard for her to come up with her daughters' tuition of $6,000 since her husband died a year ago. But she said she felt she had no choice.

"What I want for my children, public schools cannot provide," Stewart said.

Stewart said she wanted her children to get an education that included instruction in religion, morals and values.

Despite her testimony, the committee defeated the bill, 7-6.

Bob Quinn, a lobbyist for the National Education Association, testified against the resolution. He said he attended St. John & James Catholic School in Ferguson for eight years. He said his father worked a second job to come up with the tuition. …