Jeb Bush is really proud of how much he did as governor of Florida to point state funding in the direction of Christian schools.
The former Florida governor boasted that he “took on really, really powerful interests” so that 80,000 students could transfer into private Christian schools. Those kids are going to private christian schools on the taxpayers’ dime, thanks to what Bush boasted at a GOP debate last year as “a voucher program that was created under my watch, the largest voucher program in the country, where kids can go to a Christian school.”
This isn’t the first time Jebya has made a big deal out of the explicitly religious upside of his voucher program, which gives parents of students in “failing” public schools a voucher for tuition at a private school, which usually happens to have a religious affiliation. As Bush explained during a debate last September, he went out of his way to bring up “a voucher program that was created under my watch, the largest voucher program in the country, where kids can go to a Christian school.” As Right Wing Watch noted at the time, the voucher program in question is so large that some religious schools in Florida would likely be forced to close if it were repealed.
Put another way, it means that Jeb Bush used public funds to subsidize Christian schools well beyond what the demand for those schools would have otherwise supported.
Bush’s voucher program has been expanded under Florida’s current governor, Rick Scott.
So, just to be clear, when these “limited government conservatives” talk about “religious freedom,” this is what they mean: using the government to give members of their religion extra freedom. It’d be a whole lot easier if they just got to the point and said that government neutrality in religious matters is overrated in the first place.