Kasich Requires Schools to have a Religious Partner for New State Funding
- December 13, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am #1054640
Schools need a religious partner if they want any of Gov. Kasich’s student mentorship money
By Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer
December 12, 2014 at 12:43 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Gov. John Kasich’s $10 million plan to bring mentors into Ohio’s schools for students now has a surprise religious requirement – one that goes beyond what is spelled out in the legislation authorizing it.
Any school district that wants a piece of that state money must partner with both a church and a business – or a faith-based organization and a non-profit set up by a business to do community service.
No business and no faith-based partner means no state dollars.December 15, 2014 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #1054849
I must be missing something. This seems like crossing the lineDecember 15, 2014 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #1054861
I must be missing something. This seems like crossing the line
“one of the ways to get people involved is to get churches involved”
Yes. “Involve” churches and exclude the whole spectrum of other non-profits that fail to meet the criterion of promoting a religion. There are two sides to this coin.
I wonder if this is the Kasich 2016 campaign setting out some red meat for the religious camp. Look, as Governor in 2014 he secured the inclusion of faith-based organizations to help mentor students. Now make him President so he can promote “faith” nationwide.December 15, 2014 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #1054863
I must be missing something. This seems like crossing the line
Agreed. Unless there’s some sort of exemption I’m unaware of, this seems like a pretty big church/state conflict.
Can a school set up a relationship with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to be eligible for this funding?December 17, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am #1055067
Governor’s Mentoring Program Has Religious Requirement
December 17, 2014
by Mark Urycki, StateImpact Ohio
If you want to be part of Governor Kasich’s program to mentor for Ohio school children, you’ll have to have a religious affiliation. The Ohio Department of Education is now soliciting grant applications from organizations, but interested parties must have a faith-based connection to be accepted.
READ MORE: http://wosu.org/2012/news/2014/12/17/governors-mentoring-program-religious-requirement/December 17, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am #1055091
Here’s the link if anyone was considering applying for it, although that isn’t really that much money for the entire state.
I agree, weird requirement. While I think there are plenty of great people who are churchgoers, money for schools for this kind of program should be kept for non-profits who are already set up to do this kind of work, imo.December 17, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am #1055108
Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen…December 17, 2014 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm #1055130
This was sent in today:
ACLU Launches Inquiry into Governor’s Mentorship Program for Ohio’s Schools
Community Connections May Violate Students’ Religious Liberty
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the ACLU Program on Religious Freedom and Belief today expressed serious concerns that Governor John Kasich’s recently announced Community Connections mentorship program may violate the First Amendment. The organization intends to investigate.
In a letter to Governor Kasich and Ohio Department of Education Superintendent Ross, the ACLU questioned the constitutionality of a requirement that public schools must partner with a religious institution to participate in a new grant program, according to ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link.
“Not only does this clearly interfere with the religious freedom of Ohio families, it places an unconstitutional burden on our public schools and erects another roadblock for at-risk students to access educational opportunities.” Link said. “As guardians of the First Amendment in Ohio, we will launch a full inquiry into this matter.”
Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio, said, “Conditioning a public school’s receipt of government funds on collaboration with a religious organization raises serious constitutional concerns. Although improving educational outcomes within our communities is an important goal, it cannot be achieved by unconstitutional means.”
“The First Amendment of the Constitution provides very strong protection against the government imposing religion upon children in public schools,” explained Heather Weaver of the ACLU Program on Religious Freedom and Belief. “This new program appears to disregard those protections and injects religion into our classrooms.”
To further its investigation, the ACLU of Ohio has requested various records concerning the Community Connections mentorship program.December 17, 2014 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #1055186
That’s not going to be good for business.
Maybe I’m not reading all the fine print but how is this not separation of church and state? The fact that it’s not mandatory maybe?December 17, 2014 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #1055190December 17, 2014 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #1055202
Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen…
My thoughts exactly. It’s probably calculated that way though, to drum up support for Kasich’s presidential aspirations among right-wing Christian extremists. A case going up to the Supreme Court should lose, but it would at least raise his profile among those on the religious right who want to blur and ultimately eliminate the constitutional separation of church and state.
I’m with Walker, too. I’d like to see the Pastafarians set up a partnership with a school, and see if Kasich’s administration is boneheaded enough to try and deny them because they aren’t Christian, and therefore not the ideal “faith-based” participants he had in mind.December 17, 2014 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #1055203
Heck try enlisting any mosque, temple, or shrine and see if they get approval.December 18, 2014 9:09 am at 9:09 am #1055273
ACLU Investigates Religious Requirement in Kasich’s School Program
December 18, 2014 7:50 am – Jesse Bethea
Governor John Kasich’s school mentorship program is now being investigated by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. The Governor’s “Community Connectors” program contains an unexpected religious requirement, mandating that in order to receive state funding, participants in the program must partner with a faith organization or house of worship.
READ MORE: https://www.columbusunderground.com/aclu-investigates-religious-requirement-in-kasichs-school-program-jb1December 18, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am #1055311
Yep. Between the ACLU lawsuit and “unfavorable” religions like the Church of Satan getting involved, I don’t see this requirement lasting very long.December 18, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am #1055317
So is the Church of Satan playing devil’s advocate in this?
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