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Religious Charter Schools: Legally Possible And Politically Advisable?

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Religious Charter Schools: Legally Possible And Politically Advisable?

August 4, 2020
EducationPre K-12Other

In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Supreme Court ruled that barring faith-based schools from participating in a private school choice program solely on the basis of religion is unconstitutional. With this decision, “no-aid” clauses (known as Blaine Amendments) may have been all but nullified in 37 state constitutions. States now have the freedom to create school choice programs that include provisions for religious schools.

The effects of Espinoza could be profound. Are state-level rules banning religious organizations from running charters now unconstitutional? If so, could a religious organization run a public charter school that uses religion in its curriculum and instruction?

On August 4, the Manhattan Institute hosted a discussion moderated by senior fellow Andy Smarick with education policy expert Chester E. Finn, Jr., law professor Nicole Stelle Garnett, and charter school expert M. Karega Rausch, on the legal and policy consequences (and possibilities) of charter schooling following Espinoza.

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