DISCUSSION: Oklahoma Approves a Public Catholic School

DISCUSSION: Oklahoma Approves a Public Catholic School June 16, 2023

Oklahoma has approved the creation of a Catholic charter school.  This will be America’s first ever religious school funded by taxpayer money.

St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School will be a joint venture of the  Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa.  It will be an online school and is slated to start in the fall of 2024.   And the school promises to be authentically Catholic in what it teaches.

I can’t imagine that this can pass legal muster.  But do you think this is a good idea?

Read the arguments in favor of this arrangement here.

Read the arguments against this arrangement here.

I myself feel very queasy about this.  I’m all for religious schools.  But paying for them is not the business of the government.  And it feels unjust to force citizens who do not adhere to a religion to pay for its promotion.  Furthermore, state funding brings state control, and religious schools dependent financially on the government are likely to be controlled by the government in what it teaches and how it conducts itself, including eventually the whole array of sex and gender mandates.  I know that the deep-red state of Oklahoma is unlikely to insist that church institutions compromise their teaching, but the principle remains.

And yet, government subsidies for religious schools are commonplace in Europe and Australia, highly-secularized though they are, especially in countries that have had a state church and no tradition of separation of church and state.

What do you think about this?

Browse Our Archives