NEW YORK, NY, April 5, 2011 — The US Supreme Court decided Monday to allow a tax credit for religious education in Arizona (see New York Times coverage). The decision is the latest move in
- “a revolution”
- spurred by “a nationwide offensive by religious groups to publicly fund their charter schools” in the name of preserving traditions and values,
- that is replacing the nation’s “common” schools with more “segregated learning environments,”
- “undermin[ing] the greater democratic good and common ground for political unity,”
- “may be pointing the way to a new wave of bitter societal and legal conflicts based on culture and religion,”
- and creating increasingly “inequitable distribution of resources in public schools.”
So says a new, 141-page overview of that proliferating change and the issues it raises, “Blurring the Lines,” by two Pace University professors of education, Arthur T. Maloney and Janet D. Mulvey, and a colleague at Fordham, Bruce S. Cooper (Charlotte, NC, Information Age Publishing, www.infoagepub.com, 704-752-9125).
“Blurring the Lines” argues that the First Amendment of the US Constitution –-the government can neither establish nor prohibit the practice of religion, “a mainstay of our democracy,” – is rapidly becoming obsolete. The book provides case studies of
- A Jewish charter school in Hollywood, Florida (the Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter School) and the Orthodox Jewish community public school in Kiryas Joel, New York;
- Catholic conversions of failing parish schools into charters with full public funding in places like Washington, DC (the Trinidad Campus of Center City Public Charter Schools);
- A Greek Orthodox parish in Brooklyn creating a new “Hellenic Classical Charter School,”
- Muslims in Blaine and Inver Grove Heights, near Minneapolis, opening the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy.
Media contact: Cara Cea, 914-906-9680, firstname.lastname@example.org