Questions being raised about new charter in Austin

May 13, 2014
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The Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday that a charter school proposed for Austin could violate the 1st Amendment by allowing a faith-based organization to use public money to promote Christianity.

The Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent a letter to CPS asking that final approval for the West Side school be denied to the Chicago Education Partnership and By the Hand Club for Kids, a faith-based non-profit affiliated with the Moody Church.

According to Sun-Times reporter Becky Schlikerman’s story, the By The Hand Club for Kids’ after-school program would take over once the school day ended, helping kids with homework, feeding them dinner and teaching them about the Bible.

That could lead to the Washington, D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State to sue CPS if the school gets final approval, the group said.

The Chicago Education Partnership and By the Hand Club for Kids told the Sun-Times they won’t cross any lines and students could opt out of any religious programming. They say they’re being unfairly signaled out.

The school, set to open in fall 2015 to kindergarteners and 1st graders, has already come under fire from the parent and student advocacy group Raise Your Hand.

To read the full Sun-Times story, click here.

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