Oklahoma Attorney General Sues to Stop State Funding of Catholic Charter School

Oklahoma Attorney General Sues to Stop State Funding of Catholic Charter School

Oklahoma Attorney General Drummond Sues to Stop State Funding of Catholic Charter School

Oklahoma Attorney General John O. Scott Drummond has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s decision to fund a Catholic charter school.

In the lawsuit, Drummond argues that the state’s contract with the St. John Paul II Catholic Schools Trust violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from promoting or endorsing one religion over another.

Drummond also argues that the contract violates the Oklahoma Constitution, which prohibits the use of public funds to support religious institutions.

The lawsuit seeks to block the state from providing any funding to the charter school.

Drummond Says Contract Violates Religious Liberty

In a press release, Drummond said the contract approval “violated the religious liberty of every Oklahoman” by forcing state residents to fund “the teachings of a specific religious sect with our tax dollars.”

“Today, Oklahomans are being compelled to fund Catholicism,” Drummond said. “Because of the legal precedent created by the board’s actions, tomorrow we may be forced to fund radical Muslim teachings like Sharia law.”

Lawsuit Argues Charter School Violates State Law

Drummond’s lawsuit argues that state laws and regulations “strictly prohibit the sponsorship of a sectarian virtual charter school.”

The lawsuit also states that the charter school “clearly violates the Establishment Clause and must be stopped.” It asks the court to “correct the board’s unlawful actions.”

State Risks Losing Federal Funding

The attorney general’s office further argued that the state risks losing more than $1 billion in education dollars from the federal government. Those funds are contingent upon “compliance with applicable laws” regarding religious establishments.

Conclusion

The outcome of Drummond’s lawsuit is uncertain, but it has the potential to have a significant impact on the separation of church and state in Oklahoma. If the court rules in favor of Drummond, it could set a precedent for other states to challenge the funding of religious charter schools.

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