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Kasich Requires Schools to have a Religious Partner for New State Funding

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Politics Kasich Requires Schools to have a Religious Partner for New State Funding

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 91 total)
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  • #1055397

    James Ragland
    Participant

    I don’t see this as an opportunity to alienate. I am using my own school as an example because I feel like we are a model for what is trying to be done. We are a Catholic school. 70% of our students are non-Catholic. We have Muslim students who attend, as well as Protestant, Lutheran, and non-religious students. We do not discriminate. I envision this mentorship opportunity the same way.

    #1055398

    joev
    Participant

    Because it works for you, do you also think that it should work for everyone? If there are some schools it doesn’t work for, should they be ineligible for public money?

    #1055399
    MichaelC
    MichaelC
    Participant

    I can tell you from first hand knowledge that many families would not be up in arms if Ohio law changed and allowed for prayer in schools.

    This is not an Ohio law issue, but a U.S. Constitution issue.

    Further, prayer is not prohibited in public schools. State-sanctioned prayer in public schools is, however, per federal law and a long line of court cases.

    #1055401
    MichaelC
    MichaelC
    Participant

    I envision this mentorship opportunity the same way.

    Yours is not a public school.

    #1055402

    James Ragland
    Participant

    Because it works for you, do you also think that it should work for everyone? If there are some schools it doesn’t work for, should they be ineligible for public money?

    If schools do not want to partner with the faith based entity, they do not have to go for the funding. It’s not like all public school funding is tied to your district’s acceptance of this method of support. It may not work for everybody. I understand that and accept it. Parents will make it known that they don’t want it by choosing whether or not to participate. If your district or school wants the program, but you as an individual parent do not want your child to participate, choose to send them home or participate in the many mentorship programs that exist without a faith based partnership.

    I look at this as an attempt to try something different, that many people actually want to see happen. I don’t assume that everybody will agree with it, and that’s ok. I happen to think it’s a good idea. Our schools need a lot of help. It truly is an interesting debate. It does work for me, and I realize it may not benefit some. What I do, on a daily basis is provide funding for what essentially is a public school (by demographics) that has a faith based component. Parents love our program. We can’t keep them away. Some folks are blasting this program before it even begins. If you think our public schools need help, why not try?

    #1055404
    MichaelC
    MichaelC
    Participant

    The program is not clearly unconstitutional. But it’s dubious. The constitutionality has nothing to do with whether or not some parents might object to it, or might want it; the constitutionality is also not affected by the fact that all schools are not required to utilize it.

    I suspect this program was crafted with a U.S. Supreme Court case in mind–Zelman v. Simmons-Harris–that permitted public school students to accept vouchers to private and/or religious schools. In practice, the vast majority of the students were accepting vouchers to religious schools of one denomination. The Court reasoned that this was not a Constitutional violation, in large part because parents were choosing to utilize the vouchers. That will be a key issue if this new program goes through the court systems.

    However, a court might also find that this program is neutral toward religion, just as the Zelman court did.

    We’ll have to wait and see.

    #1055405

    gramarye
    Participant

    On further reading, I have serious concerns regarding whether this program will survive constitutional attack under Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, which upheld Ohio’s school voucher program because (among other things) the program (a) provided benefits directly to individuals, and (b) was facially neutral with respect to preference for religion (i.e., the fact that the vast majority of the recipient schools were religious was an artifact of both parental choice and the lay of the Cleveland private school landscape, not anything to do with the legislature or the legislation). Those factors were essential to the holding that the voucher program is/was a program of private choice, not government endorsement, when it came to the public funds that ultimately ended up in the hands of religious entities.

    Of course, one of the purposes of this program might be to attract a well-founded but unsympathetic constitutional attack, to help further the persecuted-Christians meme that is a mainstay of Republican presidential aspirants.

    #1055406

    joev
    Participant

    The fact that a public school can ONLY get this public money from the state by partnering with a religious group doesn’t bother you at all? Trying something different is a noble thing to do. But something different should not mean something contrary to equal opportunity.

    Religions have done great work with lots of kids for centuries in America. They have done it outside of the public school system, which is where that kind of work belongs.

    #1055407
    MichaelC
    MichaelC
    Participant

    On further reading, I have serious concerns regarding whether this program will survive constitutional attack under <em class=”d4pbbc-italic”>Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, which upheld Ohio’s school voucher program because (among other things) the program (a) provided benefits directly to individuals, and (b) was facially neutral with respect to preference for religion (i.e., the fact that the vast majority of the recipient schools were religious was an artifact of both parental choice and the lay of the Cleveland private school landscape, not anything to do with the legislature or the legislation). Those factors were essential to the holding that the voucher program is/was a program of private choice, not government endorsement, when it came to the public funds that ultimately ended up in the hands of religious entities.

    I agree in full.

    #1055411

    AmyD
    Participant

    I don’t like my tax dollars paying to have a religious entity involved in education.

    #1055412

    James Ragland
    Participant

    I don’t like my tax dollars paying to have a religious entity involved in education.

    I hear you loud and clear, AmyD. Being that this is already in motion, if it fails as an initiative I would imagine that those leaders who are pushing it will pay a political price. What if future studies of this show that having these faith based mentors helps students increase positive numbers in academic achievement and decrease incidents of negative discipline occurrences? I would imagine that this type of program would be heavily researched, especially with what many of you are describing as politically motivated intentions. If you get positive results, and kids are performing better and behaving better in the classroom because of this initiative, would it change any of your perspective on the program?

    #1055413

    jackoh
    Participant

    Actually, we can assess how this might work out in practice from factual evidence. If you want to see the result of government, religious faith sects, and education becoming intertwined and working together, all that you have to do is look at the middle east.

    #1055414
    Josh Lapp
    Josh Lapp
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>AmyD wrote:</div>
    I don’t like my tax dollars paying to have a religious entity involved in education.

    I hear you loud and clear, AmyD. Being that this is already in motion, if it fails as an initiative I would imagine that those leaders who are pushing it will pay a political price. What if future studies of this show that having these faith based mentors helps students increase positive numbers in academic achievement and decrease incidents of negative discipline occurrences? I would imagine that this type of program would be heavily researched, especially with what many of you are describing as politically motivated intentions. If you get positive results, and kids are performing better and behaving better in the classroom because of this initiative, would it change any of your perspective on the program?

    Whether the results are good or bad doesn’t matter. What matters is that public funds can only be accessed if there is a partnership with a religious institution. On its face it seems to be an endorsement of religion. As a person who is a member of a social class that is discriminated or outright hated by a majority of religious groups, that is bothersome.

    And its all the more bothering when legislation allowing discrimination based on religion was just advanced in Michigan. So if this law comes to Ohio does it mean that the mentors who are funded with public money can reject public schooled children who they decide are unworthy based on their religious beliefs?

    #1055415

    James Ragland
    Participant

    “Whether the results are good or bad doesn’t matter.”

    I would have to disagree there. It’s hard to imagine educators saying, “Although academic proficiency has improved and negative discipline occurrences are way down because of this change, I’d prefer to go back to the old way we did things where faith based folks were not allowed in the schools, students academic performance was woeful, and our classrooms were out of control.”

    Yeah, I’ll wait on that.

    #1055416
    MichaelC
    MichaelC
    Participant

    “Whether the results are good or bad doesn’t matter.”

    I would have to disagree there. It’s hard to imagine educators saying, “Although academic proficiency has improved and negative discipline occurrences are way down because of this change, I’d prefer to go back to the old way we did things where faith based folks were not allowed in the schools, students academic performance was woeful, and our classrooms were out of control.”

    Yeah, I’ll wait on that.

    If it’s not constitutional, all of this is a moot point. That’s what the above poster is saying. Respectfully, the constitutional question is not to be taken lightly since legal activity is in motion before anyone has even applied under this program.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 91 total)

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