Separation of School and State

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a very revealing article that brings up some interesting issues regarding the separation of church and state or perhaps, the separation of school and state.

A charter school located in Inver Grove Heights, MN, promotes an Islamic worldview within its four walls although it is funded by the taxpayers of Minnesota. The article’s reporter writes that when she attempted to visit the school to clarify what is actually being taught and what activities were being conducted, she was denied entrance. However, a substitute teacher steps forward to reveal that ritual washings and prayer were a part of the daily activities. This brings up several questions which we’d love to hear your comments on.

Does the State of Arizona have any charter schools that teach from an Islamic worldview similar to this school? This begs the question whether an Islamic worldview (with no religious instruction or references) can or should be taught using Arizona taxpayer money.

Are their other charter schools operating in Arizona which teach from a unique non-secular humanist worldview?

Many of us agree that the State of Arizona should not interfere in the activities of private religious schools (unless, as a last resort, there is a danger to the welfare of students, staff or the community) but will stories like this prompt the state to take another look into private schools which preach/teach religious values which run contrary to mainstream values?


  1. Iris Lynch says

    I do not know about an Islamic world view school in Arizona, but I DO know about Tuscon schools teaching from texts that teach Reconquista. Tom Horne knows about these schools, but apperently, it is not up to the Superintendent of AZ. schools to what is taught. Perhaps someone else has more information about this than I do. Mr. Horne has been invited to speak on the subject in Cochise County on the 14th of July.

  2. GOP Boomer Gal says

    What about the Montessori school on River and Dodge in Tucson that is run by the Khalsas?

    Just asking.

  3. The issue isn’t private schools, they can teach what they want. I certainly don’t want government to determine what “mainstream values” are in a private school setting.

    The issue should be publicly funded charter schools, where sectarian beliefs are not supposed to be part of the curriculum but limited state oversight leaves one to wonder what actually is going.

    As far as Khalsa goes, they have a very highly regarded public charter school in Phoenix, many of my children’s friends have attended, and I have never heard any complaints aobut religious teaching there.

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