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Today is V-day in Tennessee. The Shelby County Board of Education (Memphis) opposes the plan, accurately protesting that the plan would divert dollars from their already underfunded schools.
Meanwhile, six charter schools in Memphis have made a deal with the Catholic church to lease space, while pledging not to teach anything contrary to Catholic teaching.
”The Compass Community Schools network signed a lease agreement that contains a clause agreeing not to teach anything that goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church….
“But one First Amendment expert said there are several potential conflicts, including standards that address contraception, and that a public school’s mere act of entering into a legal agreement with a religious entity promising to limit its educational offerings for students is unconstitutional.
“The clause could also cause a chilling effect on both students and staff and create complications of oversight of a public school by a religious organization, said Charles Haynes, founding director of the Religious Freedom Center..
“A public school is a public school,” he said. “It may not in any way be entangled with a religious group that in any way limits what it can and cannot teach. That’s clearly unconstitutional.”
“The issue also raises questions about the promised separation between the Catholic Church and the Compass schools, a network created by Catholic leaders to replace a group of closing parochial schools. “