Thursday, April 14, 2016

Suit Challenges District's Definition of Catholic Schools

Wisconsin Watchdog reports that a state court lawsuit was filed last week claiming that Wisconsin's Friess Lake School District infringed the religious freedom of 3 students when it denied them free transportation to St. Augustine School, an independent school that teaches Catholic doctrine. Under Wisconsin law, public school districts are required to provide transportation for students in religious schools who live more than a mile away from the school in their attendance zone.  If there are multiple religious schools in a district, they must create their own non-overlapping zones. Friess Lake School District authorities have ruled that St. Augustine and another Catholic school that is operated by the Archdiocese are both Catholic schools in the district and must have non-overlapping attendance zones before students are entitled to free transportation.  St. Augustine says it is separate and should be able to get transportation for students from anywhere in the Friess Lake District.  It contends that it is improper for public school authorities to determine that a school which says it is independent is instead Catholic. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty announced the filing of the lawsuit.