OKLAHOMA SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST CATHOLIC CHARTER SCHOOL, STATEWIDE VIRTUAL CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD

Ch. 6 - June 26, 2024 5:56 am

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled against the state’s Virtual Charter School Board which means Oklahoma will not become the first state to have publicly funded religious charter schools.

In June 2023, the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board approved a contract with St. Isidore of Seville Virtual Catholic Charter School. Attorney General Gentner Drummond then sued the State Virtual Charter School Board, and each member in their official capacity, for entering into a contract with St. Isidore.

Drummond argued, that the moment that the virtual charter school board approved St. Isidore’s contract, the school became a public entity, therefore crossing the line of church and state.

Drummond made the following remarks on Tuesday after the state Supreme Court’s ruling;

“This decision is a tremendous victory for religious liberty. The framers of the U.S. Constitution and those who drafted Oklahoma’s Constitution clearly understood how best to protect religious freedom: by preventing the State from sponsoring any religion at all. Now Oklahomans can be assured that our tax dollars will not fund the teachings of Sharia Law or even Satanism. While I understand that the Governor and other politicians are disappointed with this outcome, I hope that the people of Oklahoma can rejoice that they will not be compelled to fund radical religious schools that violate their faith.”

During the case, the Counsel for the State Virtual Charter School Board, Philip Sechler, pointed out that some religious institutions already get public funding from the state, including some religious hospitals. They said those institutions get public funds to provide public services or benefits, and in St. Isidore’s case, the school is offering the public benefit of education.

Drummond however, argued that the state is legally required to provide education for free, and not at an added cost to the family.

“It is a requirement under our constitution in Oklahoma to provide free public school. That’s not a public benefit, that is a requirement of our statute,” said Drummond.

 

Latest Stories

Area Forecast

Today A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 10am. Mostly cloudy, then gradually...

VOLUNTEERS DROP OFF SIGNATURES FOR STATE QUESTION 832

Supporters of a state question to raise the minimum wage in Oklahoma say they collected nearly 180,000 signatures....

Attorney General’s Office Accepting Applications for New Sheriff Office Assistance Grants

OKLAHOMA CITY  – Oklahoma sheriffs can now pursue grant funding to bolster the services they provide...