Back to News & Commentary

A Bad Deal for South Bend: Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Gift to Religious School

Daniel Bullard-Bates,
ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief
Share This Page
August 17, 2011

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Indiana, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit yesterday against the City of South Bend, Indiana. The city spent taxpayer money to buy a piece of land in South Bend they intend to sell to the Catholic Diocese that runs St. Joseph’s High School, a private religious school.

The amount of taxpayer money that the city spent on the land: $1,200,000.

The cost to the Catholic Diocese: $1. (Coincidentally, a "Family Dollar" store sits on this land.)

By giving preference and direct aid to a religious institution, the City of South Bend has violated both the U.S. and Indiana constitutions. Residents of South Bend should expect that public funds will go toward public needs on a religion-neutral basis. Instead, their tax dollars are being used to make a million-dollar gift to a Catholic school.

Learn more about government-funded religion: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page