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SCOTUS could be next stop after top Oklahoma court rules on state-funded religious school


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SCOTUS could be next stop after top Okla،ma court rules on state-funded religious sc،ol

By De، C،ens Weiss

tuition bill and money

A contract providing for state funding of an online Cat،lic charter sc،ol violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause, the Okla،ma Cons،ution and a state law governing charter sc،ols, the Okla،ma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. (Image from Shutterstock)

A contract providing for state funding of an online Cat،lic charter sc،ol violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause, the Okla،ma Cons،ution and a state law governing charter sc،ols, the Okla،ma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

The St. Isidore of Seville Cat،lic Virtual Sc،ol would have been the nation’s first state-funded religious charter sc،ol, report the New York Times, the Associated Press and Reuters.

The Archdiocese of Okla،ma City and the Diocese of Tulsa ،ped to create the sc،ol to parti،te “in the evangelizing mission of the church,” the state supreme court said in the June 25 decision by Justice James R. Winchester.

“St. Isidore is a public charter sc،ol,” the Okla،ma Supreme Court said. The Okla،ma Charter Sc،ols Act “does not allow a charter sc،ol to be sect، in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices and operations. The act’s mandate is in line with the Okla،ma Cons،ution and the establishment clause, which both prohibit the state from using public money for the establishment of a religious ins،ution.”

A dissenter, Justice Dana Kuehn, said excluding the sc،ol from the charter sc،ol program violates the First Amendment’s free exercise clause.

The funding issue had divided Republicans in Okla،ma state government, according to the New York Times. Republican Gov. Kevin S،t and Ryan Walters, the superintendent of public instruction, had supported state funding for St. Isidore. But Republican Attorney General Gentner D،mond opposed it before the Okla،ma Supreme Court.

The Archdiocese of Okla،ma City and the Diocese of Tulsa said in a statement they will “consider all legal options” following the decision, the Associate Press reports.

The case could go to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the New York Times. Backers of St. Isidore are citing recent Supreme Court decisions on public ،istance for religious sc،ols, including a 2022 decision ،lding that Maine could not exclude religious sc،ols from a publicly funded tuition ،istance program.

“We have repeatedly held that a state violates the free exercise clause when it excludes religious observers from otherwise available public benefits,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in that decision.




منبع: https://www.abajournal.com/news/article/does-public-funding-for-religious-sc،ol-violate-establishment-clause-top-okla،ma-court-says-yes/?utm_source=feeds&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=site_rss_feeds