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Lawsuit opposes plans for a state-funded virtual Catholic charter school in Oklahoma

By Jason Burger

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (KOCO) — A public school parent spoke out against the plans for a new virtual Catholic charter school in Oklahoma City.

She joined a lawsuit against St. Isidore of Seville because of her belief that public schools shouldn’t have to share funding with a religious charter school. The group said they don’t want to pay for the school, especially when it could impact funding for public school teachers.

“They have to supply, in some schools, 100% of what they need to run their classroom out of their own pocket,” said Brenda Lene, a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Lene put together a Facebook group called Oklahoma Education Needs to help teachers get supplies for their classrooms. She said public school funding is already stretched thin, and teachers feel the impact.

“I can see how this is going to spread our funding even more thin, and if St. Isidore goes through, it won’t be the last. It’ll just perpetuate the funding problem,” Lene said.

The lawsuit said, “As a public charter school, St. Isidore will be directly funded with state tax dollars. The plaintiffs are clergy, public-school parents, and public-education advocates who object to the use of their tax dollars to fund St. Isidore’s unlawful operations.”

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