September 30, 2023 10:41 am

The Charter-School Movement’s New Divide

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In early June, a state board in Oklahoma did something that seemed obviously unconstitutional: It approved a new, openly Catholic charter school. Students at the proposed St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School would receive religious instruction, and the online school would participate in “the evangelizing mission of the Church,” according to St. Isidore’s application to the state. By law in Oklahoma, and in every state where charter schools are allowed, charters are public schools—they receive government funding and some state oversight, and they cannot discriminate against students and staff. St. Isidore would apparently be public, too, raising questions about whether it violates the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.

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