A central Ohio church has appealed the Ohio Department of Education's denial of its application to become a charter school authorizer (more on the story here, subscription required):
Brookwood [Presbyterian Church], doing business as Brookwood Community Learning Center, submitted a 49-page application to the ODE in November 2007 for approval as a charter school sponsor.
The church said that instead of reviewing application materials, the ODE determined that "neither the national Presbyterian church nor Brookwood Presbyterian Church is eligible to apply to become a sponsor" because they are not "education oriented" entities as required under state law.
"Despite the fact that nothing in the Ohio Revised Code prohibits a religious organization as such from ... being approved as a sponsor of community schools in Ohio, ODE's decision made it clear that the applicant's status as a church alone was a disqualifying fact in the eyes of ODE: 'also please know that no church has been approved as a sponsor,'" the church told justices.
It is true that no churches serve as authorizers in Ohio, but church-related organizations are certainly active in the charter sector with the knowledge and approval of the state.????Educational...