Alabama should abandon plans to charge and regulate church schools

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

At issue are long-standing exemptions for religious schools from some of the regulations and fees imposed on non-religious private schools. For instance, private schools are charged a $500 licensing fee that church-based schools aren't. However, a new rule would require the church schools to start paying the $500 fee, and other changes are afoot.

State officials outlined the proposals during a July meeting with representatives of several nonpublic schools. Attendees were told that the state wanted to create a "partnership," and the changes and fees were part of the process.

What the state misses is that parents like me who opt out of public schools have already decided against any sort of partnership with the state's public education system. Moreover, many of us choose church schools based on our faith. We see no distinction between the building we worship inside on Sunday and the classroom our children learn inside during the week – and neither should the state.

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