Ohio Supreme Court hears case on charter schools and religious affiliations

June 10, 2010
State education officials denied charter application to Presbyterian church in Columbus

From The Columbus Dispatch: A Columbus, Ohio, church doesn't have the right to sponsor a public charter school because it was "exclusively organized and operated for religious purposes" rather than educational ones, a state lawyer has told the Ohio Supreme Court. Elizabeth A. Long, an attorney for the Ohio Department of Education, gave the most detailed public explanation to date on why the state denied Brookwood Presbyterian Church's charter-school application in 2008. Long suggested that Brookwood could get into the charter-school business if it creates a separate nonprofit to distance the school from the church's religious mission. But state rules require such a nonprofit to be in business five years before being considered for a charter. Brookwood officials say it's unfair to make them wait.

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