The first amendment of the Constitution says in part that the U.S. government cannot establish a state religion nor prohibit the
free exercise of religion. This clause has been interpreted over the years to mean there should be an impenetrable wall
between church and state. As far as the educational system is concerned, it means that government cannot forcibly introduce religion
into studies or subsidize its teaching. Many Americans disagree with this interpretation.
The issue has once again come up for debate in various school choice programs. This allows parents to choose which
school their children attend regardless of religion. Public schools are already fully funded by the government with U.S. tax
dollars. If the parents choose a private school in the area, a "voucher" is given to the family which pays the cost of tuition
at the private school. The program was developed due to the failure of public schools in many urban areas of the country.
These programs have already started up in areas such as Cleveland and Milwaukee.