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Americans United Warns Ohio Officials That Public Schools Can’t Be Required To Partner With Houses Of Worship

State Must Take Steps To Protect Students In Mentoring Program From Proselytism, Says Church-State Watchdog

Ohio officials may not require public school districts to partner with churches and faith-based organizations as a condition of taking part in a tax-funded mentoring program, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In a letter sent to Ohio officials, Americans United explains that the Community Connectors program, which provides $10 million in 3-to-1 matching grants, violates the First Amendment because it gives religious organizations priority over secular groups. Read more

Problematic Partnerships: Ohio Initiative Compels Public Schools To Link Up With Churches

Ohio’s public schools are now eligible for a publicly funded mentorship program – but only if they partner with houses of worship and religious charities. Gov. John Kasich (R) recently announced the requirement as a surprise addition to HB 483, which allocated $10 million for the “Community Connectors” program and originally described faith-based partnerships as an option, rather than a mandate, for schools.
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‘Help’ Not Wanted: Most Of Ohio’s School Vouchers Go Unused

Are Ohio residents too dumb to fully take advantage of the state’s voucher program? Some “school-choice” advocates seem to imply as much.

The Mansfield News Journal reported that the vast majority of Ohio’s EdChoice “scholarships” – they’re really vouchers – which are available to students in so-called “failing” schools, were not claimed for the current school year. Read more

Difficult Lesson: Ohio Teacher Firing Reminds Us That Religious Schools Play By Different Rules

By all accounts, Carla Hale was a dedicated and popular teacher who loved her job.

Yet when she showed up for work a few weeks ago, Hale was summoned into an administrator’s office and subjected to a grilling. Not long after that, she was summarily fired from her position at a Clintonville, Ohio, high school. Read more

Starving The Schools: In The States, Voucher Boosters Play Reverse Robin Hood With Tax Dollars

Across the country, public schools are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn. The school system my daughter and son attend has increased class sizes, and some popular programs are on the chopping block.

This, then, would seem to be a poor time to divert tax money into religious and other private schools. (Learn more here.) Yet consider what’s going on in several states: Read more