Religious Charter School Is Unconstitutional, Oklahoma High Court Rules

Sara Randazzo and Matt Barnum:

Oklahoma’s highest court on Tuesday blocked the opening of what would have been the nation’s first religious charter school. The closely watched case is seen as the latest test of the boundary between church and state.

The ruling is being lauded by national charter-school leaders and those who resist any encroachment of religion into public education. It is a blow to religious conservatives who have laid the groundwork for religious charter schools for years.

“If you let one type of public school become religious, you can open the door to any type of public school becoming religious,” said Debbie Veney, a senior vice president at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, which has supported the legal battle against the school.

The legal fight isn’t over, as a lawyer for the school said the team will appeal the case to the Supreme Court. Hanging in the balance is the future of the charter school movement and whether a new source of public funding can go to support religious education.