Charles C. Haynes points out the trap that religious schools can fall into if they decide to take government money. For those of you who study the tight bonds between money and religious freedom, this story is a must-read. – Editor
On June 16, seven Roman Catholic schools in Washington, D.C., were transformed into seven public charter schools by a unanimous vote of the D.C. Public Charter School Board. It’s a conversion of sorts – only in reverse.
Other religious communities around the nation are already on the charter bandwagon, opening Arabic charters without Islam and Hebrew charters without Judaism. Not to be left behind, a Protestant minister in Harlem is pressing to start what he claims will be a religion-free charter in his church building.
Strange as it may sound, this is a hot new trend in education: creating faith-based schools without the faith.
Establishing a charter requires shedding overt religious identity because “religious charter school” is a First Amendment oxymoron. Although free from some regulations that apply to traditional public schools, charters are still public schools. That means they must be nonsectarian – neither promoting nor denigrating religion.
Read the full article at http://www.mddailyrecord.com/article.cfm?id=145829&type=Daily