Will Church Plants Be Banned from Public Schools?

Will Church Plants Be Banned from Public Schools? September 29, 2011

It has been common practice among church planters to start their churches in public schools: they’re cheap, empty on Sundays, have good parking, and have auditoriums with PA systems built in.  It’s everything an erstwhile church planter could want.  I’ve been to many services in public schools, including a couple in NYC.  Now it looks like the Supreme Court may be ruling on whether this practice is a violation of church and state:

A New York City church is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to assert its right to hold religious services in public schools.

Lawyers for the Bronx Household of Faith, an evangelical congregation, filed a petition Tuesday asking the Supreme Court to review a June appeals-court ruling that would bar churches from holding worship services on school property.

About 60 churches currently use New York City public-school auditoriums and classrooms for worship activities after school hours and on weekends. The arrangement has allowed small, cash-strapped churches to avoid the city’s high rents, as the schools charge a nominal fee to cover the costs of custodians and security staff.

via Bronx Household of Faith Church Asks Supreme Court to Rule on Worship in Schools – WSJ.com.

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  • Lock

    My church is required to pay property taxes for two school districts. Change is slow, but the battleship should be charting a different course soon.

    • Curtis

      Please tell more. Where do churches pay property taxes?

  • Curtis

    I don’t see how the courts could treat churches any differently from any other private group that rents school space after-hours. This has already been litigated to death with the Boy Scouts, who have retained the right to rent school space on the same terms as anyone else.

    And even if the courts did rule against the churches, bi-partisan legislation guaranteeing churches the right to rent church space would be the first agenda item in the next legislative session, and Obama would sign it into law right away, which would trump any negative court decision. This is pretty much a non-issue.