The reverend Michael Faulkner wanted to start a charter school through his church in Harlem. But there was a problem: New York law bars religious denominations from running charters, even if, as Faulkner promised, the school would teach a secular curriculum.
So Faulkner—a one-time NFL player who ran for Congress in 2010—and his church sued.
“The New York Charter Schools Act is nothing more than an attempt by the State to erect a barrier for those who express their religious beliefs from access to public resources that are generally available to all others,” read the 2007 complaint.
For Betsy DeVos and her former advocacy group, the future of education means ‘personalization,’ including virtual schools
The suit was voluntarily dismissed in 2009, and Faulkner, now running for city comptroller, described it as “dormant.” But a recent Supreme Court decision might mean that suits like that one have a better chance of prevailing.
Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer invalidated a Missouri rule banning a religious school from participating in a public program, and experts immediately noted it could be used to eliminate legal barriers to private-school voucher programs. The implications for charter schools drew less attention.
Some legal scholars argue that recent Supreme Court case Trinity Lutheran v. Comer could forge a path toward more charter schools overseen by religious groups.
Read original article