“It would be unfair for taxpayers who don’t share these Catholic religious beliefs to fund Catholic charter schools,” Clark Fraley said. Oklahoma Children’s Pastors Public Education Advocacy Organization to board members when they met in Oklahoma City.
“Taxpayers are subsidizing the education of students in a belief system that condemns their own religious beliefs, or lack thereof,” he said.
Walters, a nonvoting member of the charter board, pushed board members to approve the application.
“You’ve all heard from different people, and you’ve heard from some on the extreme left that hatred of the Catholic Church unites them. [against] Doing what’s best for the kids,” Walters said. “We must refrain from allowing extremists to force their way into this and further politicize this decision.”
Catholic Church officials formally asked Oklahoma’s virtual charter school board earlier this year to open St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School. Months accelerate Discussion Government support for Section Education It has divided academics and Republicans.
Two Oklahoma attorneys general have issued separate, but noncommittal, opinions on the issue. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt and Walters have supported the church’s application.
In February Stitt announced his “strong disagreement” with Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s decision. Remove an important legal concept It opened the door to publicly funded religious charter schools and staked a claim in a legal battle over charters that could be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.
But a last-minute memo from the charter board’s attorney, issued just before Tuesday’s scheduled vote, warned that Oklahoma’s constitution prohibits it. Utilization of public funds for religious or sectarian purposes, and church officials said they could get a formal word to reconsider their application for reconsideration within 30 days.
Along with their initial denial Tuesday, charter board members asked the church to address questions about its special education programs, pedagogical approach, finances and administrative structure — and hoped legal arguments would open up its case.
Still, with the Supreme Court taking up a separate court case with significant changes to the nation’s charter school system, the eventual final vote is expected to spark a new lawsuit from supporters or opponents of the plan.
“If we ultimately succeed, it will completely change education across the country,” Brett Farley, executive director of the Oklahoma Catholic Conference, told POLITICO last month.
“For some reason, because of this unique separation of church and state idea that’s not in the Constitution, we think we have to have some kind of quasi-monopoly in the education market. And we’re doing it to the detriment of our children.