Oklahoma Supreme Court Rejects Funding for Religious Charter School

(LibertySons.org) – Oklahoma’s Statewide Virtual Charter School Board approved a contract with a Catholic charter school in 2023. St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School would have been the first religious charter school in the country funded by taxpayer money. The state Supreme Court has put a stop to it.

On October 20, Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond filed a lawsuit against the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board after it approved the creation of the school in a 3-2 vote. The Republican AG argued that using state funds to pay for the religious school was a violation of the US Constitution.

Several months later, on June 25, the state’s Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case and sided with Drummond. The decision stated that under state law, “a charter school is a public school,” which means it “must be nonsectarian.” However, St. Isidore would use state funds to pay for its religious curriculum, which is a violation of both the US Constitution’s Establishment Clause, Oklahoma laws, and the Oklahoma Constitution.

The state’s high court also determined the school couldn’t invoke its “Free Exercise rights as a religious entity” because it only “came into existence” after the state voted to approve its charter.

Drummond celebrated the decision, calling it a “tremendous victory for religious liberty.” He said those who framed the state and federal Constitutions understood the best way to “protect religious freedom” was “by preventing the State from sponsoring any religion at all.” The AG explained that the ruling ensures taxpayer money won’t ever pay for students to learn about Satanism or Sharia Law.

AG Drummond acknowledged other Republicans, including Governor Kevin Stitt, weren’t happy with the decision. But he stressed again that it was a win for residents because they won’t ever have to pay schools to radicalize students.

Allowing St. Isidore to become a state charter would have opened the door for the non-Christian religious schools, including the Islamic faith, to follow a similar path and use state funds.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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