Church & State

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond is pictured Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, during an interview in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond withdrew his predecessor's opinion that had fueled hopes the state might approve religious charter schools.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
School Choice & Charters A Major Reversal on Religious Charter Schools in Oklahoma
The attorney general withdrew his predecessor's opinion that religious groups could not be excluded from the state charter school program.
Mark Walsh, February 24, 2023
4 min read
Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor speaks during a bill signing ceremony for a bill making it a felony to perform an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in Oklahoma City.
Then-Oklahoma Attorney General John M. O'Connor, shown last year in Oklahoma City, issued an advisory opinion last December that bolstered the prospects of charter schools sponsored by religious institutions.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
School Choice & Charters A Proposed Catholic Charter School Is New Test for Religion and Public Education
With a favorable state attorney general's opinion in hand, Catholic officials are set to ask for approval of the first religious charter.
Mark Walsh, February 9, 2023
10 min read
Image of columns.
Law & Courts The 8 Most Consequential Developments in Education Law in 2022
The list includes major decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, a transition on the high court, and several lower court decisions.
Mark Walsh, December 22, 2022
6 min read
Photo of calendar with holidays marked.
iStock / Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Celebrating Holidays at School: Legal Guidance for Administrators
Tips to help keep celebrations inclusive and immune from lawsuits.
Elizabeth Heubeck, December 13, 2022
4 min read
Shomari Jones, Director of Equity and Strategic Engagement for the Bellevue School District, at his office on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Bellevue, Wash.
Shomari Jones, director of equity and strategic engagement for the Bellevue, Wash., school district, explains why he thinks schools should teach about all religious beliefs.
Jovelle Tamayo for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Q&A Talking About Religion Is Hard. This District Leader Says Schools Should Do It Anyway
The Bellevue, Wash., district leader emphasizes that students need to be prepared to navigate a multicultural world.
Alyson Klein, December 12, 2022
6 min read
Southlake parent Sravan Krishna attempted to donate "In God We Trust" posters during an Aug. 29, 2022, school board meeting.
Southlake parent Sravan Krishna attempted to donate "In God We Trust" posters during an Aug. 29, 2022, school board meeting.
Carroll Independent School District via TNS
Equity & Diversity Texas School District Rejects ‘In God We Trust’ Signs Featuring Rainbows, Arabic
Under a new law, Texas public schools are required to hang posters emblazoned with “In God We Trust” if someone donates a poster.
Talia Richman, The Dallas Morning News, August 30, 2022
2 min read
Scales of justice and Gavel on wooden table and Lawyer or Judge working with agreement in Courtroom, Justice and Law concept.
Pattanaphong Khuankaew/iStock
Law & Courts Court Backs Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Clash Over School LGBTQ Bias Policy
A federal appeals court said the San Jose, Calif., school district applied its anti-discrimination policy inconsistently.
Mark Walsh, August 29, 2022
4 min read
Globe with two ethnic characters holding symbolism for various world religions.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Law & Courts Why Some Religious Groups Worry After Supreme Court Sided With Praying High School Coach
Concerns arise about equal treatment of students and employees from minority religious groups after a ruling on a Christian coach's prayers.
Evie Blad, June 28, 2022
5 min read
Joe Kennedy, a former assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Wash., poses for a photo March 9, 2022, at the school's football field. After losing his coaching job for refusing to stop kneeling in prayer with players and spectators on the field immediately after football games, Kennedy will take his arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, April 25, 2022, saying the Bremerton School District violated his First Amendment rights by refusing to let him continue praying at midfield after games.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of former Bremerton (Wash.) High School assistant football coach Joseph A. Kennedy that his post-game prayers were protected by the First Amendment.
Ted S. Warren/AP
Law & Courts Supreme Court Says High School Coach's Post-Game Prayers Protected by the First Amendment
The decision could have enormous practical consequences for school districts and their supervision of teachers and other employees.
Mark Walsh, June 27, 2022
9 min read
Image of the Supreme Court.
Law & Courts Supreme Court Strikes Down Maine's Exclusion of Religious Schools From Tuition-Aid Program
The justices hold that barring "sectarian" schools from the program for towns without public high schools violates the First Amendment.
Mark Walsh, June 21, 2022
7 min read
The Supreme Court in Washington, Dec. 3, 2021. The Supreme Court has turned away a plea from parents to block a new admissions policy at a prestigious high school in northern Virginia that a lower court had found discriminates against Asian American students.
The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Dec. 3, 2021.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Law & Courts Conservatives’ Checklist: U.S. Supreme Court Education Decisions to Overrule
Here are five education issues that could be targets for reconsideration if Roe v. Wade falls.
Mark Walsh, May 11, 2022
3 min read
supreme court SOC
Law & Courts Leaked Abortion Draft Has Supreme Court Education Cases in Political Cross-Hairs
Conservatives have taken aim at decisions on educating immigrants, race in admissions, and religion. Liberals have some cases in mind, too.
Mark Walsh, May 10, 2022
8 min read
Coach Joseph Kennedy outside the Supreme Court after oral arguments in his case. Sending one more pic of the lawyers on the other side in a moment.
Former Bremerton, Wash., High School football coach Joseph A. Kennedy addresses the media outside the U.S. Supreme Court after April 25 oral arguments in his case.
Mark Walsh/Education Week
Law & Courts Key Takeaways From Praying-Coach Case While Supreme Court Deliberates
There's plenty to unpack from the lengthy questioning in a case that could alter the First Amendment landscape for schools.
Mark Walsh, April 27, 2022
5 min read
Bremerton assistant football coach Joe Kennedy, recently placed on administrative leave due to his prayers on the football field after games, listens to the national anthem from the stands at Memorial Stadium in Bremerton, Wash. on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015.
Joseph A. Kennedy, a former Bremerton High School football coach, listens to the national anthem from the stands in 2015 after being placed on administrative leave for praying on the field after games in Bremerton, Wash. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in his case to regain his job this week.
Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times via AP
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court Signals Support for Football Coach's Public Prayers
The case has major implications for the free speech and religious expression of public school educators.
Mark Walsh, April 25, 2022
6 min read