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Number of 'religious charter schools' continues to grow — along with criticism

Published: Saturday, Dec. 17 2011 1:00 p.m. MST

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wrz
Salt Lake, UTah

lds4gaymarriage:

"If they stay for religious instruction, the extra cost for teachers and utilities is not born by the state, but by the school."

In which case the lights and heat would have to be turned off. And the pencils and paper would have to lie, unused.

"The state money was already spent for the secular education."

Money is fungible (look it up). Thus, money paid for salaries, supplies, utilities, etc., for the school is not identifiable to any expense element or parts of expense elements.

the truth
Holladay, UT

RE: The Atheist

That is NOT a fundamental truth, but a reckless, ignorant and dangerous opinion, the kind that breeds hate, starts with the removal any mention of religion or the mention of God in the public square (such as a school) and leads to terrible events like the holocaust.

Monsieur le prof
Sandy, UT

If the ACLU is against it, there must be some good to it, no matter what it is. They have brought more harm to the educational system than any other entity, including unions and bad teachers. They began suing schools in the late 60's and things have gone downhill since then.

I believe the fallacy/misunderstanding of "separation of church and state" has been carried too far. One of the reasons that Europe is going under culturally is because they have become a completely secular society and have lost their moral bearings. At least in America we have some semblance of religion and that's what makes us great.

If the school was doing such a good job, I think it could have been allowed to continue. But it sounds like they cut off their nose to spite their face.

Really???
Kearns, UT

We need to get away from this charter school movement. The reality is charter schools are a way for parents to create a faux private school without paying the associated fees. They pretend to be private schools, but at the expense of the public. The reality is that most students are best served by their neighborhood schools. The children learn to associate and get along with their neighbors. They have the best extracurricular opportunities.

Neighborhood public schools struggle because the community doesn't get behind them as they used to in the past. If you want to fix your neighborhood schools, get involved. Attend the sporting events. Go to the fine arts' performances. Congratulate your neighborhood kids for the academic successes. We all want to place blame somewhere, but it's about time we all step up and support the schools where we live.

Kevin J. Kirkham
Salt Lake City, UT

Wrz - "If they stay for religious instruction, the extra cost for teachers and utilities is not born by the state, but by the school."

In which case the lights and heat would have to be turned off. And the pencils and paper would have to lie, unused.

KJK I think you and lds4gaymarriage are talking past each other. From his/her statement you quote above, it appears to me that he/she is assuming, correctly or not, that the school building is owned by a church or other private group. If the state pays the group a fixed amount per child to cover the cost of teachers, books, school supplies, utilities, etc... for providing education to the state mandated levels, then any money the school spends on teachers, books, school supplies, utilities, etc...come directly out of the group's pocket and not the state's. Since the group pays for the utilities, teachers, etc... itself, the added costs for staying open longer increases the group's cost/expenses. The state pays for nothing additional and therefore there is no church/state conflict.

The Atheist
Provo, UT

The truth,

Some opinions correspond with reality. Mine does. Yours does not.

Enough said.

JBQ
Saint Louis, MO

Obviously, it all depends on "what the meaning of 'is' is". Mr. Lin wants a wantered down national religion which is basically secularist in nature. Mr. Cooper from Fordham wants the neighborhood to support religion. The cusp of the argument lies in whether TiZA is a legitimate school or just a front for an agenda. From the information given, it is hard to tell.

wrz
Salt Lake, UTah

@Monsieur le prof:

"If the school was doing such a good job, I think it could have been allowed to continue."

If the school is teaching religion it should not be allowed to continue. Why? Because it violates the 1st Article of the Amendments to the US Constitution.

And the school can't announce the end of the regular school day then commence religious instruction, using the same facility, teachers, supplies, etc. Furthermore, wearing the required Muslim garb would also be a violation... just as much as Christian praying in school.

@Kevin J. Kirkham:

"If the state pays the group a fixed amount per child to cover the cost of teachers, books, school supplies, utilities, etc..."

The 'fixed' amount has to be derived in some manner. It's not just picked out of thin air. Someone, somehow developed the fixed amount by adding up the components of running a typical school.

The only way to run a charter school and keep it from even the appearance of violating church/state separation is to exclude all religious teaching at the school... before, during, and after so-called regular class... or close it down.

Kevin J. Kirkham
Salt Lake City, UT

wrz
@Kevin J. Kirkham: "If the state pays the group a fixed amount per child to cover the cost of teachers, books, school supplies, utilities, etc..."

The 'fixed' amount has to be derived in some manner. It's not just picked out of thin air. Someone, somehow developed the fixed amount by adding up the components of running a typical school.

KJK - The fixed amount would be what the state pays every district for each student in the district. All districts are funded on a per pupil basis. Public schools hate private schools and home schoolers since they decrease their funding if the kids aren't attending public school. Some districts in other parts of the country give privately sponsored charter schools 80% of the per pupil funding the district receives.

If a charter school can educate kids to the state specs for less money that the state gives them, then the charter school is making money. If the school uses that money to pay for teachers, utilities, materials, etc... to teach religion, no problem. It's using its own profits to do so. The state still gets an educated kid, perhaps only at 80% of the traditional cost.

Furry1993
Clearfield, UT

To TheOcean | 3:00 p.m. Dec. 17, 2011

Can religion and charters coexist in Utah according to our Utah State Constitution? I don't know. Legal and constitutional experts--what do you think?

--------------------------

Sure they can, PROVIDED that the charter schools are treated as private schools and no public money goes to their support.

The Atheist
Provo, UT

Religious charter schools are a thinly veiled attempt to suck public resources from society, and in that way it is like a parasite. If religions cannot support themselves from their own "customers", then they have no business being subsidized with tax dollars of any kind.

The Atheist
Provo, UT

the truth wrote:

"RE: The Atheist

That is NOT a fundamental truth, but a reckless, ignorant and dangerous opinion, the kind that breeds hate, starts with the removal any mention of religion or the mention of God in the public square (such as a school) and leads to terrible events like the holocaust."

DN monitors, since when are you in the habit of allowing such abusive language to be used toward another commenter?

The truth,

Please backup your assertion. Show us where Hitler and Nazism removed mention of religion from the public/government. And further show how the holocaust was the result. Please be sure to explain Hitler's frequent Biblical references, and his calling the Jews "Christ-killers."

coltakashi
Richland, WA

Sounds like the school was simply more accommodating than most to children's religious practices, such as prayer and Ramadan. That is something that a Muslim student would be entitled to sue a school to allow.

Franbkly, this did not hurt anyone. The interest of the state and the public is ensuring that children receive an education so they can be salf-supporting members of society. NOT to socialize them OUT of their religion. School vouchers should be allowed so these issues don't even come up, in the same way someone who has earned VA education benefits can use them aty BYU or even a ministerial seminary.

the truth
Holladay, UT

RE: lds4gaymarriage

YOu say:

"If religion is being taught there is harm... because the US Constitution and Supreme Court decisions clearly show that no money, facilities, resources, etc., are to be used to foster religion of any sort...The fixed amount per pupal is computed using all costs including materials, utilities, etc. So any use would be fostering religion."

I can not find that such and idea anywhere in the constitution.

The 1st admendment is brief only says that CONGRESS can not play favorites or disfavorites to any church or religious organzation, nor can it in religios worship,

further more religios free speech is also protected.

IF the supreme court has gone further they are wrong.

As I have stated before the state constitution must need be rewritten, as additional onerous restrictions were written in the state constitution out peoples fears of the mormons.

There was never to be any enmity between government and religion,
that is a modern notion by secuilarists and progressivies to remove God from the schools,
and schools are not federally controlled nor should they be.

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