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No Educator Left Behind:
Charter Schools, Religious Organizations

No Educator Left Behind is a series providing answers from the U.S. Department of Education to questions about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and how it will affect educators. If you have a question about No Child Left Behind, send an e-mail to Ellen Delisio, and we will submit your question to the Department of Education.

Question:

Can charter schools enter into partnerships with religious organizations to provide secular services?

U.S. Department of Education:

Yes. Like other public schools, charter schools may enter into partnerships with community groups for secular purposes, such as tutoring or recreational activities. Religious groups may be partners for these types of activities so long as charter schools select partners without regard to their religious affiliation, ensure that no public funds are used for religious purposes, and do not engage in or encourage religious activity. Charter schools may not limit participation in the partnership to religious groups or certain religious groups, and they may not select students or encourage or discourage student participation with particular partners based on the religious or secular nature of the organization.

Read previous questions and answers in our No Educator Left Behind archive.

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