rac-smct-text-block

 Press Room | Facebook | Twitter | DONATE

Church State Separation

Classroom

Opponents of school voucher programs recently learned of a new scheme that will hurt military-connected families around the country.

Noah Fitzgerel

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's L'Taken Social Justice Seminar brings teens from across the country to Washington, D.C. to learn about so

Alicia Goldenziel and Maxwell Rosenfeld
school stock image

Late January featured "National School Choice Week," during which proponents of 

Noah Fitzgerel

Elections are one of the most fundamental elements of our democracy, a moment for citizens to participate in choosing our leaders and shaping the next phase of work on the key social justice

Sarah Greenberg

June 15, 1215 is one of the most well-known days in Western history. 800 years ago today, in Runnymede, England, King John signed Magna Carta (the Great Charter), a nascent constitution/bill of rights for English nobility. Magna Carta maintains an almost legendary role in history, although only three of its many provisions are currently in use in English law today, and it has been changed and reissued numerous times since 1215.

On Monday, the first of the closely-watched June decision days, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch, Inc. This case asked whether the religious non-discrimination provisions related to employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibit discrimination only if an applicant has let the employer know of the need for an accommodation.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post wrote about the topics most clergy members discuss from the pulpit as a way to illustrate that the issues most associated with communities of faith -- reproductive rights and LGBT rights/same-sex marriage, due much in part to  the Religious Right -- is not what is actually happening on the ground.

On Thursday morning, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a "field" hearing on the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), or the D.C. school vouchers program at Archbishop Carroll High School, where a large percentage of the students receive these vouchers.

The Reform Movement has a long history of opposing voucher programs, not only because we believe in the importance of supporting and maintaining a robust, high-quality and high-performing public school system, but also because a large portion of voucher dollars got to parochial schools, compromising church-state separation.The irony of having the hearing at this location was not lost on those of us in attendance who work on this issue from a church-state separation perspective.

Last week, Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) released a statement on the need for comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination protections. This statement came on the heels of the controversy related to Indiana’s and Arkansas’ Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs) and their subsequent amendments, and serves as a reminder that LGBT people in America are not afforded the same rights and protections under broad state and federal laws as many other minorities.

After much anticipation, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all public schools in the five boroughs will now be closed for two Muslim holidays: Eid al-Adha, which marks the end of the Festival of the Sacrifice, and Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan at the end of the summer (this closing will happen during summer school).

Although the City Council had approved a resolution to add these holidays to the school calendars in 2009, Mayor de Blasio (who has been in office a little over a year) has finally implemented this change.