Fordham Institute: Catch up on religious charter schools debate

An Oklahoma board made history last week by approving the nation’s first religious charter school, a move that could set the stage for a legal battle over whether such schools, which receive taxpayer money but are independently managed, are public or private.

Editor’s note: This compilation of commentaries from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute appeared last week on the institute’s website. To read a report of the Oklahoma decision from reimaginED senior writer Lisa Buie, click here.

In a 3-2 decision last week, an Oklahoma state board defied the attorney general and approved the nation’s first religious charter school. Those of us at Fordham have been following the debate closely.

These blog posts and podcasts will help you get up to speed:

Education Gadfly Show #872: The religious charter school debate, with Kathleen Porter-Magee (2023)

Just last week, Kathleen Porter-Magee—choice advocate and superintendent of a network of urban Catholic schools—spoke with Mike Petrilli and David Griffith about religious charter schools on our podcast.

3 reasons why religious charter schools should give us pause (2023) by Kathleen Porter-Magee

In a guest post, Porter-Magee raised cautions about the religious charter school movement.

The extended case for faith-based charter schools (2023) by Andy Smarick

In another guest post, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Andy Smarick reflected on legal developments opening the door to religious charter schools.

Education Gadfly Show #853: The Supreme Court and religious charter schools, with Nicole Garnett (2023)

Nicole Garnett, law professor at Notre Dame and expert on faith-based schools, spoke with Mike Petrilli and David Griffith on the podcast.

Is It Finally, At Long Last, Time for Religious Charter Schools? (2020) by Chester E. Finn, Jr.

Checker Finn reflected on the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue (2020), which determined that publicly-funded vouchers could not be barred from religious schools.

Why Not Religious Charter Schools? (2003) by Chester E. Finn, Jr.

Two decades ago, when the concept was far less mainstream, Checker asked Gadfly readers to consider religious charter schools as a way to grow quality choices for children.

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BY Special to NextSteps