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National Alliance Stands with Oklahoma Attorney General on Protecting Public Education

National Alliance Stands with Oklahoma Attorney General on Protecting Public Education

April 2, 2024

Todd Ziebarth, Senior Vice President for State Advocacy and Support at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, released the following statement regarding today’s Oklahoma Supreme Court hearing for oral arguments to stop the Archdiocese of Oklahoma’s attempt to open the nation’s first religious public school: 

The National Alliance supports the strong arguments made by Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond affirming the illegality of religious public schools.  We stand with Attorney General Drummond and the people of Oklahoma who are fighting to uphold the constitution and state law.  

“The Archdiocese of Oklahoma is trying to erode the lines of separation between church and state. The state of Oklahoma is being asked to create a religious institution – this proposed school – with public funds. The argument here is far more complex than whether public funds can be used to support the work of organizations that are religious in nature.  It is about the legality of state-sanctioned and state-funded religious organizations that are free to exclude individuals and discriminate as their religion might call them to do.  

“Make no mistake. This case is not about charter schools. It is about fundamentally altering one of the founding principles of our nation.  

“All charter schools are public schools. The National Alliance firmly believes charter schools, like all other public schools, may not be religious institutions or discriminate against any student or staff member on the basis of sex, gender, race, disability, or religious preference. We insist every charter school student must be given the same federal and state civil rights and constitutional protections as their district school peers.”  

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