The Atlantic

Will Churches Ever Be Allowed to Run Charter Schools?

Some legal scholars say Trinity Lutheran v. Comer could forge a path toward more charter schools overseen by religious groups.
Source: AJ Mast / AP

The reverend Michael Faulkner wanted to start a charter school through his church in Harlem. But there was a problem: New York law bars religious denominations from running charters, even if, as Faulkner promised, the school would teach a secular curriculum.

So Faulkner—a one-time NFL player who ran for Congress in 2010—and his church sued.

“The New York Charter Schools Act is nothing more than an attempt by the State to erect a barrier for those who express their religious beliefs from access to public resources that are generally available to all others,” read the 2007 complaint.

The suit was voluntarily dismissed in 2009, and Faulkner, for city

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