A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research has found that many Catholic schools are only able to continue operating because of the government voucher programs they rely on. This means that American taxpayers are paying to keep these private Catholic schools open.
Focusing on a data-set of Catholic schools in the Milwaukee area, they found that the Catholic schools enrolled in the program received about $1 million annually from the government program. This completely goes against the idea of the separation of church and state. And things will likely not improve with the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. She has been a vocal proponent of expanding government voucher programs.
Although the study focused on the Milwaukee area, there are voucher programs in 29 states, with roughly 400,000 students taking advantage of them. It is incredibly likely that many more counties are allowing private Catholic schools to use these government funds to keep their doors open. It is disturbing to see not only that these private Catholic schools are able to use these funds, but that they are apparently only able to stay open because of how dependent they now are on these vouchers.
We have a lot of work to do in this country to restore the separation of church and state. It is unclear how much we will be able to accomplish during the Trump administration, but we cannot give up. Too much is at stake to allow the religious fundamentalists to claim everything for their own.