The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulates employee-benefit plans to protect the interests of employees who participate in these plans. To avoid undue governmental intrusion in church affairs, the Act provides an exemption for plans established by churches. Some non-church entities have begun to claim this exemption.
- Challenge to Texas public school district's "clergy-in-schools" program, whereby clergy served as counselors and mentors to students.
- Challenge to a public-school board's practice of opening its meetings with mostly Christian prayers.
- Challenge to Congressional authorization to spend $10 million in federal funds for repairing historic missions in California, virtually all of which were fully functioning houses of worship.
- Challenge to decision by Louisiana to remove the word "silent" from a school-prayer statute.
- Challenge to practice of local Louisiana school board to open meetings with an invocation, which often was sectarian prayer.
- Challenge to practice of Texas school district to make graduating classes vote on whether to have prayer at graduation ceremonies.
Starting in 2007, the Enfield Public Schools (located just north of Hartford, Connecticut) began holding the Schools’ two high-school graduations in the sanctuary of a Christian church, the First Cathedral. An enormous white cross sits atop the Cathedral’s roof, dominating the skyline as one approaches.
For nearly a decade, the Elmbrook School District near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, held its high-school graduation ceremonies in the sanctuary of an evangelical Christian church. A cross towered over the dais -- upon which graduation speakers addressed the audience and graduating seniors received their diplomas.
In June 2015, the Nevada governor signed into law S.B. 302, which created the Education Savings Account Program. Through the program, parents may receive money from the state's public-school fund, which is deposited into an Education Savings Account, to pay for their child's education at a religious private school.