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Report: Lilburn School With 'Anti-Gay' Policies Receives Public Funding

Schools that "exclude, condemn, and demonize students for who they are and who they accept in their lives" should not receive public funds, according to a report from an Atlanta education policy group.

Some scholarship money generated through a Georgia tax credit program has been used at religious schools that ban gay, lesbian and bisexual students, according to a report released this month.

One of the schools mentioned in the report from the Southern Education Foundation, is Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn.

According to the report, "Providence Christian Academy, with nearly 800 students in Lilburn, Georgia, will deny admission or expel anyone for 'participating in, promoting, supporting, or condoning pornography, sexual immorality, homosexual activity, or bisexual activity; or … displaying an inability or resistance to support the Academy’s Biblical interpretation of the qualities and characteristics required of a Biblically-based and Christ-like lifestyle.'"

-- Should public money be used to assist needy families who want to send their children to private schools with explicit anti-gay policies? Let us know in the comment section below. --

The Southern Education Foundation does not take issue with the policies of the schools. They have a constitutional right to believe whatever they want to believe and to operate their private affairs in accordance with those beliefs, the foundation said.

But schools that "exclude, condemn, and demonize students for who they are and who they accept in their lives" should not receive public funds, the foundation wrote in its report. "Tax dollars should go to schools that educate all students. That is the promise and virtue of our democracy."

And, according to the report Providence Christian Academy policy reaches into students' homes, as well. As stated in the report, like other private schools, the Lilburn school's policy "'reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant and/or to discontinue enrollment of a student if the atmosphere or conduct within the home or the activities of the student or a parent or guardian either on campus or within the community are counter to or in opposition to a Biblically-based lifestyle.'"

Legislators in 2008 established a tax credit program to allow individual and corporate taxpayers to contribute to qualified student scholarship organizations and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit against their Georgia income tax liabilities. SSOs provide the funds to private schools for all or part of a student’s tuition.

Although the amounts awarded to each school are unknown, more than $170 million in taxpayer funds have been set aside to cover the tuition costs of students in private schools during the last four years.

And, the Southern Education Foundation knows of at least 115 private schools in the tax credit scholarship program that have severe anti-gay policies or belong to state and national private school associations that promote anti-gay policies.

Patch has reached out to Providence Christian Academy's headmaster Jim Vaught, and Claudia Hunt, director of the schools admissions and community relations, for comment.

Click here to read the full report from the Southern Education Foundation. It is also attached to this article as a PDF. Click here to read about other metro Atlanta schools listed in the report.

Paul L. Dragu January 31, 2013 at 12:33 AM
It seems mainstream thought consistently confuses anti-homosexuality for anti-rights, and anti- 'people' in general. To me that indicates one thing in particular; Most people can't think for themselves. If mainstream media would have said that being against the act of smoking crack is anti-civil rights and a bigoted view, every media outlet would start black-balling any school or restaurant who are against the act of smoking crack. Private school students consistently score astronomically higher than public school students. The "product" they put out ends up benefiting society exponentially. Meanwhile, in public schools, which is all funded by state and/or fed, they teach augmented american history and an acceptance of every idiotic social thought and trend which has caused this society so much hurt, not to mention their performance is crap. Piles of state and federal money is spent on diplomatic spa sessions, comedians, and failed energy experiments, yet b/c the trendy thing is to gang up on any people or institutions who think the act of homosexuality is morally wrong, we have gotten to the point where we blindly agree that it makes sense to want to retract support from the few outlets that are benefiting our world. Simply ridiculous.

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