Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Suit Says Indiana Charter School Act Violates Establishment Clause

Indiana's Charter School Act names, among the institutions that may authorize public charter schools, some 30 non-profit colleges and universities-- public, private and religious. Charter schools they authorize must be non-sectarian and non-religious.  Yesterday a non-profit advocacy organization supporting public schools filed suit against Indiana education officials contending that the Charter School Act violates the Establishment Clause as well as the no-aid cause of Indiana's constitution. The complaint (full text) in Indiana Coalition for Public Education v. McCormick, (SD IN, filed 4/25/2017) focuses on the authorization of a charter for Seven Oaks Classical School by Grace College and Seminary, an evangelical Christian college. It contends that the Act violates the Establishment Clause by delegating government power to authorize charter schools to a religious institution and by authorizing payment of public funds as an administrative fee to that religious institution. Indiana Lawyer reports on the lawsuit.