Skip to main content
Category

Religious school

TINT unveils a renovated shrine, a new religious school | Local News

By Religious school

At the top of the new religious school building of the Temple Israel Ner Tamid is the founding text of the school: “Thou shalt diligently teach them to your children,” from Deuteronomy 6: 7.

The verse means more to TINT than an old collection of words – it symbolizes the temple’s deep and long-standing dedication to education.

Now anchored in the walls and floors of its new 6,130 square foot religious school extension and refurbished sanctuary, TINT’s membership in education can be seen by anyone entering its building at 1732 Lander Road in Mayfield Heights. New construction and renovations were completed earlier this month in July after starting in late November. And now the community can see the results of this work when TINT holds its open house and dedication from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 22.

“There aren’t many congregations that are building religious schools,” Rabbi TINT Matthew Eisenberg told the Cleveland Jewish News on July 19. “But for us, it shows real faith in our future and that we are building for it. … We are building schools to teach the commandments, the teachings of God, to your children.

The idea for the temple’s religious school expansion had been swirling for years, but its pressing need emerged about six years ago, TINT president Richard Freedman told CJN on July 19.






Israel Ner Tamid Temple President Richard Freedman, left to right, Academic Director Edna Akrish and Rabbi Matthew Eisenberg inside the temple’s renovated shrine.




The one-classroom school-like configuration of the religious school where students of all ages learned together in the main hall quickly exceeded its space. TINT has set up classrooms delimited by partitions in the social hall, while other classrooms have been set up in the basement and in the laundry room. The size of students attending religious school has increased to 35.

In 2014, the Mayfield Heights Fire Department said TINT could no longer run classes there.

“At this point, we knew we had to do something,” Freedman said.

The TINT leadership team immediately set out to plan and fundraise for a brand new religious school, as well as renovations and technology updates to its shrine. The temple bought and bulldozed two neighboring houses, giving TINT an extended building and green space.

The completed additions created a new religious school with four separate classrooms for grade levels, offices for 10-11 educators, and a library; an open atrium for onegs and musical performances on its newly acquired grand piano; bathrooms and terrace.






DSC_0016-2.jpg

Rabbi Eisenberg admires the view outside the new atrium of the Israel Ner Tamid Temple.




The updated sanctuary has been refurbished into a completely remodeled space with all new finishes. In total, the new religious school building and renovated shrine cost $ 1.2 million, Freedman said.

At the forefront of construction, the temple had to be given a technological makeover to better educate its students, said Edna Akrish, director of education at TINT. TINT’s religious education program is offered to 3-year-olds at senior high school levels.

“Our greatest asset is our children… and they learn differently than before, even five or ten years ago,” Akrish told CJN. “The idea that the technology must be as important or even more important than the structure itself has been a common thread from the beginning of this project.

Religious school classrooms and library feature large-screen virtual whiteboards with zoom capability, touchscreen interactions, and Microsoft and Internet access. The entire temple has widespread Wi-Fi.






DSC_0006-2.jpg

Rabbi Matthew Eisenberg of Temple Israel Ner Tamid shows off the large-screen virtual whiteboard with zoom capability, touchscreen interaction, and Microsoft and Internet access located in the library of the temple’s brand new religious school.




TINT staff have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic how important it is to have the ability to deliver services to those who cannot physically attend. To modernize its ongoing service broadcasts, Freedman said the shrine needs to become a television studio of sorts.

The sanctuary features three pan, tilt, and zoom cameras, and two portable cameras can be used in the sanctuary, atrium, or new patio. The sanctuary also has improved lighting and sound systems, as well as a hearing loop that has been installed in the ground to allow people with hearing aids to hear everything better.






DSC_0057-2.jpg

The interior of the renovated shrine of the Israel Ner Tamid Temple.




“Even if you don’t live in Cleveland you can still learn here, what we found out that was very important,” Freedman said.

For Eisenberg, completing the renovations was like watching her family receive a much-needed improved home. He pointed out that from the time TINT was established it was a warm and welcoming Hamish – Yiddish congregation.

“Creating a bigger space doesn’t mean you’ll lose heat,” Eisenberg said. “We will continue to work to be that kind of warm and welcoming place, and we will. We will just be able to do it for our faithful in a better way and in a more pleasant space than before. “

Source link

Commentary: End Discrimination in Maine Against Religious School Families

By Religious school

Parents scored a victory in June 2020 when the United States Supreme Court ruled that school choice programs must be religion neutral.

The notice meant the government should neither favor nor oppose Maine farmers Troy and Angela Nelson, who prefer religious education for their children. Sadly, government-led discrimination against the couple continued in Palermo, a small town outside of Augusta that does not have public high schools.

Maine allows tuition assistance in such situations, allowing parents to send their children to public or private schools of their choice. The Nelson’s found the best solution for their family at Temple Academy, a sectarian school near Waterville, but the state excludes educational service providers who teach from a religious perspective.

The emphasis on non-sectarian education is relatively new. Maine started its “city class” program in 1873, and for more than 100 years the state has let parents choose secular or religious options. The hands-off approach ended in 1980, when the state chose religious schools and prohibited parents from choosing them.

No longer having an alternative, the Nelson’s moved to a secular private school. They also partnered with the First Liberty Institute and our company, the Institute for Justice, and fought back in federal court along with two other families facing similar discrimination.

Their legal argument is simple: rather than stay out of religion, Maine took sides, violating the Free exercise clause of the First Amendment.

Something similar happened in the recent Supreme Court case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, in which the Institute for Justice set a historic precedent on behalf of three Montana families. The decision ended a government policy that prohibited parents from choosing schools simply because of their religious status.

Four months later, however, the 1st US Court of Appeals went in the opposite direction in the Nelsons case and upheld the exclusion of religious schools. To reach decision, the appeals court made an odd distinction between religious “status” and “use”. The appeals court recognized that Maine cannot discriminate against religious schools, according to Espinoza, but it upheld Maine’s ability to discriminate against schools that teach from a religious perspective.

The Nelsons see a distinction without a difference.

By definition, religious schools teach religious things. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be religious. Using the same twisted logic, the Nelson’s could enroll their children in a football league that doesn’t play football. After each practice, they could go to an ice cream shop that does not serve ice cream.

The 6th and 10th Circuits have already rejected the status-use distinction, and Supreme Court Judge Neil Gorsuch has expressed his own skepticism to Espinoza. A little over a year later, on July 2, the High Court agreed to settle the case in Nelsons, Carson v. Makin.

In addition to ending the debate over the use of the statute, the case will rest on a second distinction: that parents – not the government – choose Maine’s Tuition Assistance Program schools.

While a constitutional conflict could arise if the government required children to receive a religious education, parents can make that choice under a generally available public assistance program, which is their right.

New Hampshire, which has educational cities similar to Maine, recently agreed. After an institute for justice trial and months of legislative debate, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill July 7 which ends the exclusion of religious schools from the state student aid program.

Now New Hampshire parents can decide for themselves what is best for them. The Nelson could too, if Maine stopped playing puns and returned power to the people.


Use the form below to reset your password. When you submit your account email, we’ll send you an email with a reset code.

Source link

US Supreme Court to Deal with Religious Schools Dispute Next Term | Civil rights news

By Religious school

Judges refuse to accept case of florist in Washington state sanctioned for refusing to provide flowers for same-sex marriage.

The United States Supreme Court on Friday challenged two families with children attending Christian schools against a Maine tuition assistance program that prohibits taxpayer money from being used to pay taxes. religious educational establishments.

The nine-member Supreme Court, which has a Conservative 6-3 majority, has refused to accept the case of a Colorado florist who refused to provide services for a same-sex marriage, leaving in place a lower court ruling that the florist broke anti-discrimination laws.

The announcement of accepted and rejected cases on Friday marks the end of the Supreme Court’s current tenure, which resulted in a major 6-3 ruling on ideological lines on Thursday that could make it easier for states to adopt voting restrictions. The tribunal’s next term will begin in October.

The judges agreed to hear the appeal of families of children attending Christian schools against a lower court ruling that the Maine program did not violate the First Amendment right of the United States Constitution to the free exercise of the law. religion.

A ruling against the state of Maine could build on other court rulings in recent years allowing public funds to go to religious institutions.

The Boston-based First US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the families last year, ruling that Supreme Court precedents did not bar states from banning public funds from based religious entities. how those dollars would be used.

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed several appeals, including one filed by a florist fined by Washington state for refusing to make a flower arrangement for a same-sex marriage because of her Christian beliefs.

At least four of the nine Supreme Court justices are needed for a case to be heard by the court. Only three Conservatives, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said they would have agreed to hear the florist’s appeal and review the decision.

Curt Freed, left, and her husband Robert Ingersoll, pictured here in 2016, have canceled their plans for a dream wedding after being turned down by a florist over fears other businesses will discriminate against them as well. [Elaine Thompson/AP Photo]

In 2018, the Supreme Court ordered Washington state courts to reconsider the case involving florist Barronelle Stutzman and her business Arlene’s Flowers.

Upon review, the Washington State Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state courts did not act with animosity towards religion when they ruled that Stutzman violated anti-discrimination laws of state by refusing on religious grounds to provide flowers for the marriage of two gay men, Rob Ingersoll and Curt released.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which had represented Ingersoll and Freed, hailed the decision as a victory for LGBTQ rights.

“Today, the Supreme Court confirmed that LGBTQ people should receive equal service when they walk into a store,” said Ria Tabacco Mar, ACLU lawyer representing the couple and director of the ACLU Rights Project. women.

Ingersoll had been a client of Stutzman’s florist for almost ten years and she knew he was gay. But she maintained that her marriage to another man went against her religious beliefs and felt that she could not provide services for the event.

Washington state law requires companies providing services to opposite-sex couples to provide equal service to same-sex couples.

“We hope this decision sends a message to other LGBTQ people that no one should have to suffer the harm we have done,” Ingersoll said in a statement.

In another case in 2018, the United States Supreme Court overturned on narrow legal grounds a decision by a Colorado state agency against a baker who refused to bake a gay marriage cake.

The court did not rule on the discriminatory nature of the baker’s action, but found that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had shown “religious hostility” to the baker’s Christian beliefs.

Source link

US Supreme Court to Hear Maine Religious Schools Tuition Case | Maine News

By Religious school

By PATRICK WHITTLE, Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – The United States Supreme Court ruled on Friday that it would hear a case brought by families in Maine who want to use a state schooling program to send their children to religious schools.

At the heart of the matter is a rule from the Maine Department of Education that allows families who live in cities that do not have public schools to receive public tuition fees to send their children to the public or private school of their choice. This program excludes religious schools.

Families who want to send their children to Christian schools in Bangor and Waterville have filed a lawsuit to try to change that, but have been dismissed in lower federal courts. They appealed to the High Court, and the Supreme Court’s list of orders said on Friday it was handling the case.

The libertarian public interest firm Institute For Justice, which represents families, called the case a “potentially historic case” in a statement released Friday. Michael Bindas, lead counsel in the case, said by “distinguishing religion – and only religion – for exclusion from its tuition assistance program,” Maine has limited the rights of families.

Political cartoons

“It is unconstitutional and we are convinced that the Supreme Court will hold it as well,” Bindas said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Maine has successfully defended its rule every step of the way. The Maine attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a call for comment on Friday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine also filed court documents in support of Maine’s rules that exclude religious schools from the tuition program. Maine ACLU legal director Zachary Heiden said he was confident the court would uphold Maine’s rules again.

“Every court, state and federal, that has reviewed Maine’s tuition fee law has found it constitutional,” Heiden said. “We hope the United States Supreme Court agrees.”

The Supreme Court ruled in a Montana case last year that states must give religious schools the same access to public funds that other private schools enjoy. Similar issues have also been raised in other states, such as Vermont and New Hampshire.

Copyright 2021 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source link

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Maine Religious Schools Tuition Case

By Religious school

The United States Supreme Court ruled on Friday that it would hear a case brought by families in Maine who want to use a state schooling program to send their children to religious schools.

At the heart of the matter is a rule from the Maine Department of Education that allows families who live in cities that do not have public schools to receive public tuition fees to send their children to the public or private school of their choice. This program excludes religious schools.

Families who want to send their children to Christian schools in Bangor and Waterville have filed a lawsuit to try to change that, but have been dismissed in lower federal courts. They appealed to the High Court, and the Supreme Court’s list of orders said on Friday it was handling the case.

The libertarian public interest firm Institute For Justice, which represents families, called the case a “potentially historic case” in a statement released Friday. Michael Bindas, lead counsel in the case, said by “distinguishing religion – and only religion – for exclusion from its tuition assistance program,” Maine has limited the rights of families.

“It is unconstitutional and we are convinced that the Supreme Court will hold it as well,” Bindas said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Maine has successfully defended its rule every step of the way. Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey said in a statement that religious schools are excluded from the program “because the education they provide is not equivalent to” public education.

“Parents are free to send their children to such schools if they wish, but not with public funds. I am confident that the Supreme Court will recognize that nothing in the Constitution obliges Maine to include religious schools in its public education system, ”Frey said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine also filed court documents in support of Maine’s rules that exclude religious schools from the tuition program. Maine ACLU legal director Zachary Heiden said he was confident the court would uphold Maine’s rules again.

“Every court, state and federal, that has reviewed Maine’s tuition fee law has found it constitutional,” Heiden said. “We hope the United States Supreme Court agrees.”

The Supreme Court ruled in a Montana case last year that states must give religious schools the same access to public funds that other private schools enjoy. Similar issues have also been raised in other states, such as Vermont and New Hampshire.

Source link

New Religious School Principal Joins Beth Orr Temple in Coral Springs • Coral Springs Talk

By Religious school
Jeannine Cotler, principal of the Temple Beth Orr religious school in Coral Springs.

Jeannine Cotler, principal of the Temple Beth Orr religious school in Coral Springs.

By Sharon Aron Baron

Jeannine Cotler wants to take the religious school of Temple Beth Orr in a new direction.

The new principal of the Rosenberg religious school changes the model for both teachers and students by immerse yourself in the experiences of what it means to be Jewish using a multisensory approach.

This includes learning to read, understand and appreciate Hebrew in a new and meaningful way.

President Steven Marcus said they were particularly excited about the paradigm shift in their approach to religious school.

“As Jews, we believe that we never stop learning. This is evident at Temple Beth Orr, where we take lifelong learning to heart with our many varied programs and courses offered throughout the year.

Cotler has been a member of Temple Beth Orr for 21 years, and during that time she chaired the religious school committee and served as an officer and trustee on the board.

She received her BA in Elementary Education from Nova Southeastern University and spent many years teaching in private and public schools including the Kuhn Early Childhood Center in Temple Beth Orr and Rosenberg Religious School.

Her four children grew up in Temple Beth Orr and are the products of their many educational avenues.

“I am here now, as a director, because of my love for the Beth Orr Temple and my passion and enthusiasm for Jewish education,” Cotler said.

Temple Beth Orr offers a unique one-day-a-week, interactive Sunday morning religious school program for children in Kindergarten to Grade 7. Hebrew reading instruction is organized online in small groups.

They also offer post-B’nai Mitzvah discussion-based classes for grades 8-12, including a grade 10 confirmation program. There is also a youth program in Grades 3 to 12 that focuses on fun social events.

Located at 2151 Riverside Drive in Coral Springs, Temple Beth Orr is a multi-generational, multi-ethnic community of singles, couples, interfaith and gay and lesbian families.

The oopening day of the religious school in Beth Orr Temple is Sunday, August 29, 2021.

Send your news to Coral Springs, the # 1 award-winning news site Right here.

Author profile

Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron

Editor-in-chief of Talk Media and editor for Coral Springs Talk. CST was established in 2012 to provide information, sights and entertainment to residents of Coral Springs and the rest of South Florida.

Source link

Religious school told boys to rate girls on ‘appearance and virginity’ in bizarre lesson

By Religious school

‘Build ab *** h’: Religious school told boys to rate girls on ‘looks and virginity’ in bizarre lesson that saw being ‘caring and generous’ ranked low

  • Boys at prestigious school said to award points for what they look for in a girl
  • Grade 10 students were asked to award 25 points based on traits such as popularity
  • This category was worth six points but only one point accumulated for sincerity
  • Some of the male students who participated in the activity called it “build ab *** h”

Boys in a religious school were asked to award points for the qualities they look for in a girl in a classroom activity that students mockingly described as “building ab *** h.”

Grade 10 students at St Luke’s Grammar School on Sydney’s North Beaches were asked to award 25 points by choosing categories such as popularity, loyalty and attractiveness to build their ideal wife.

While these categories were worth six points each, traits such as generosity and “caring for the world” were only worth one.

Some of the male students who participated in the lesson called the grading activity “build ab *** h”, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Grade 10 students at a prestigious religious school on Sydney’s North Beaches were asked to award points for the qualities they look for in a girl during an in-class lesson

HOW TENTH-GRADE STUDENTS WERE ASKED TO BUILD THEIR IDEAL WOMEN

Six points: Popular, loyalty, good looking, strong Christian, trustworthy

Five points: sense of humor, wisdom, fitness

Four points: sporting prowess / sexiness, honesty, friendliness

Three points: “Good pedigree”, ambition, work ethic, the ability to embrace

Two points: height, academic success, social confidence

One point: Sincerity, sense of adventure, “concern for the world”, generosity

Students in the class could also spend five points to make their ideal woman “fit”, and four points to make them “sporty / sexy”.

Two points were awarded for their game to be socially strong or at the right height.

“All the girls were disgusted and really offended,” said one student.

Meanwhile, the 10th graders received a separate lesson in which they were told to protect their virginity until marriage and warned of Satan’s role in encouraging casual sex.

The school principal has since apologized and said the teacher who led the activity was “saddened” that it offended.

“This term, students examined the complex issues of consent and toxic masculinity and compared the negative images portrayed in society with God’s plan for strong and healthy relationships where people respect each other as equals,” he said. said St Luke’s manager Geoff Lancaster.

Categories that male students could choose from during the course at St Luke's Grammar School to build their ideal wife included popularity, loyalty, and attractiveness.

Categories that male students could choose from during the course at St Luke’s Grammar School to build their ideal wife included popularity, loyalty, and attractiveness.

In a public statement, he admitted the activity was a “good example of how the best of intentions can go horribly wrong.”

He said a teacher was voluntarily removed from his post while the lesson was under investigation.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted St Luke’s for further comment.

Advertising

Source link

Court upholds public funds for religious school tuition in Vermont case

By Religious school

A federal appeals court on Wednesday explained its decision to prevent Vermont from excluding tuition funding for students attending a religious school, saying a lower court ruling earlier this year did not go far enough to achieve it.

The notice follows a February 2nd Circuit injunction against the state, and in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that states cannot abolish schools religious programs that send public money to private education.

The appeals court issued its injunction on behalf of four Catholic high school students, their parents and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

The case concerns a voucher program that allows students from communities that do not have a school or are not part of watchdog unions to attend schools of their choice, including approved private institutions. The students requested reimbursement of the Catholic high school tuition, but were refused on the grounds that the school is a religiously affiliated school.

A federal judge agreed in January that students should not be excluded from funding, but did not allow them to participate in the voucher program until the case is resolved. The judge felt that the state needed an opportunity to develop new eligibility criteria for the vouchers. But the students wanted to participate in the voucher program this semester.

The appeals court ordered the judge to change the decision so that the students could be reimbursed.

“Today the court strongly affirmed the principle that believers deserve equal access to the public benefits that everyone gets,” said Paul Schmitt, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented the students on Wednesday. “Once Vermont chose to subsidize private education, it couldn’t disqualify some private schools just because they are ‘too religious’. When the state offers parents the choice of school, it cannot withdraw the choice of a religious school. “

Ted Wilson, spokesperson for the Vermont Education Agency, said the agency is not commenting on pending litigation.

In June 2020, the United States Supreme Court, by a 5 to 4 vote, upheld a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private education in which nearly all recipients attend religious schools.

A lawsuit brought by three Maine families who want the state to pay religious school fees has been dismissed by the Boston 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. The families appealed to the United States Supreme Court.


Use the form below to reset your password. When you submit your account email, we’ll send you an email with a reset code.

” Previous

Next ”

Source link

court upholds tuition fees for students of a religious school | Vermont News

By Religious school

By KATHY McCORMACK, Associated Press

A federal appeals court on Wednesday explained its decision to prevent Vermont from excluding tuition funding for students attending a religious school, saying a lower court ruling earlier this year did not go far enough to achieve it.

The notice follows a February 2nd Circuit injunction against the state, and in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that states cannot abolish schools religious programs that send public money to private education.

The appeals court issued its injunction on behalf of four Catholic high school students, their parents and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

The case concerns a voucher program that allows students from communities that do not have a school or are not part of watchdog unions to attend schools of their choice, including approved private institutions. The students requested reimbursement of the Catholic high school tuition, but were refused on the grounds that the school is a religiously affiliated school.

Political cartoons

A federal judge agreed in January that students should not be excluded from funding, but did not allow them to participate in the voucher program until the case is resolved. The judge felt that the state needed an opportunity to develop new eligibility criteria for the vouchers. But the students wanted to participate in the voucher program this semester.

The appeals court ordered the judge to change the decision so that the students could be reimbursed.

“Today the court strongly affirmed the principle that believers deserve equal access to the public benefits that everyone gets,” said Paul Schmitt, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented the students on Wednesday. “Once Vermont chose to subsidize private education, it couldn’t disqualify some private schools just because they are ‘too religious’. When the state offers parents the choice of school, it cannot withdraw the choice of a religious school. “

Ted Wilson, spokesperson for the Vermont Education Agency, said the agency is not commenting on pending litigation.

In June 2020, the United States Supreme Court, by a 5: 4 vote, upheld a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private education in which nearly all recipients attend religious schools.

A lawsuit brought by three Maine families who want the state to pay religious school fees has been dismissed by the Boston 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. The families appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Copyright 2021 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source link

Valley News – Officials: Vermont ruling on religious school tuition raises questions

By Religious school

When the Vermont Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that public funding could not be used for worship or religious education but could be used for secular classes in religious schools, it left school districts at a standstill.

Local school boards and district administrators who pay tuition fees to schools had no criteria by which to assess whether payments to a religious school would fund religion or education. Districts made their own decisions, with some paying tuition fees to religious schools and others drawing a clear line.

Last week’s decision by the Vermont State Board of Education demanding that three school districts pay tuition fees to religious schools, an issue that is also the subject of litigation in federal court, does not make matters any clearer, school officials say of two of the districts, both of them in the Upper Valley.

“Whether the State Board of Education decides to decide on a case-by-case basis seems really shortsighted to me,” said Elizabeth Burrows, chair of the Mount Ascutney School Board, which oversees education in Windsor and West Windsor.

Burrows, who was elected to Vermont House in November, submitted an invoice, HB 130, which would require the State Board of Education “to define by rule what a religious school is and set forth the standards … on how a religious school can demonstrate that it does not use public lessons for religious instruction ”.

The Council of State’s decision, made at its April 21 meeting, takes the opposite approach, noting that there was no evidence that religious schools had been asked whether they could “certify that the costs of public schooling would not be used for worship or religious education ”. says the decision.

By overturning the decisions of local school boards, the State Council, which now consists entirely of members appointed by Governor Phil Scott, drew up a narrow decision that does not clarify what actions local officials need to take to make decisions that will remain valid.

“It’s a very difficult situation,” said Nicole Buck, president of the Hartland School Board on Monday. She described the Council of State’s decision as “frustrating”.

“I think the state needs to provide more advice,” she said.

The State Council noted in its 21-page decision that since the 1999 decision in Chittenden Town School District v. Department of Education, “the state has not passed legislation or rules to implement Chittenden”.

State Board of Education chairman John Carroll, a Norwich resident, a former Republican senator for the state, said in a statement that the board would have no further comment on its decision. But he also acknowledged that the board or legislature “might wish to give advice” and that the board “might address certain issues through rule making.”

School districts in Vermont that do not operate schools at a particular grade level may pay tuition fees to public schools or approved private schools, in or outside the state. Towns in the upper Vermont valley that pay high school tuition include Corinth, Chelsea, Tunbridge, Sharon, Strafford, Hartland, and Weathersfield.

The Hartland School District was one of three districts named in a federal lawsuit filed last year on behalf of families seeking to pay for tuition at religious schools. Hartland residents Stephen and Joanna Buckley send their son to New England Classical Academy, a Catholic school in Claremont. Officials at Hartland’s school rejected their requests for tuition fees and appealed to the State Board of Education.

Additionally, Michael and Lucy Dunne, of West Windsor, have asked the Mount Ascutney School Board to pay the tuition fees for their son, who attends Kent School in Kent, Connecticut, which is affiliated with the Episcopal Church. The board rejected their request and they also appealed to the State Board of Education.

A third family, from Rutland Town, also appealed a decision regarding tuition fees, and a fourth, in the Ludlow Mt. Holly Unified Union School District, appealed, but their tuition claim went on to follow. been accepted by their district school board.

Of the four families, all but the Dunnes are plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit against the school districts and the state. The families are represented by the Institute for Justice, the same libertarian public interest law firm that represented the Chittenden School Board when it filed a lawsuit against the state in 1996.

Efforts to reach the Buckleys were unsuccessful.

Last week’s Council of State ruling reflects the state’s defense in the lawsuit, Valente, et al. v. French. Education Secretary Dan French and Carroll both filed statements with the court indicating that neither the National Agency of Education nor the Board of Education has a policy preventing local school districts from paying fees. tuition at “an independent religious school approved solely because of the school’s religious status, identity or character.”

The state also filed as evidence a list of 82 payments to religious schools made by districts in Vermont from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2019. The list includes one payment to a Catholic school in Spain, several payments to Shattuck- St. Mary’s, an episcopal school in Faribault, Minn .; at Woolman, a Quaker school in Nevada City, California; and Brigham Young University, a Mormon affiliate school in Utah. Most of the payments went to prestigious episcopal college preparatory schools, including St. Paul’s School, in Concord, and St. Andrews, in Middletown, Del.

The list also contains some errors. For example, North Country Supervisory Union never paid for a student to attend a Cornerstone Christian school in fiscal 2018, but paid to send a student to a Cornerstone school, a therapeutic placement in St. Johnsbury who was coded incorrectly by the Education Agency, John Castle, superintendent at North Country, said in a recent telephone interview.

“I am convinced that we would not have paid the tuition fees at a religious school,” said Castle. Only one North Country SU school district, Coventry, pays tuition for high school, and most students attend an approved local or independent public school, Castle said.

Likewise, officials at Sharon’s school said they did not recall authorizing payment of tuition fees at Rice Memorial High School, a Catholic school in South Burlington, in fiscal 2009, although such a payment is on the state list.

“I don’t remember that situation at all,” said Donald Shaw, longtime chairman of Sharon’s school board, in a recent interview.

“Personally, I don’t remember a student attending Rice,” said Barrett Williams, then principal of Sharon Elementary School. Sharon does not have a middle school or high school and pays tuition for grades 7-12.

For this year, school districts will follow the order of the State Council and pay tuition fees to religious schools, but they hope for greater clarity next year. The federal lawsuit continues, as families seek to establish a right to receive public funds for religious education, and Burrows, a Democrat / Progressive, plans to pursue her bill in the Statehouse.

A hearing in the federal trial is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday.

Alex Hanson can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3207.

Source link