Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Against Religious Charter Schools

In the latest development in a story with many twists and turns, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the proposal to create the nation’s first religious charter school is unconstitutional.

In a statement, Oklahoma’s Catholic bishops said they “will consider all legal options” and expressed their belief that the proposed St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School “could still be a

valuable asset to students, regardless of socioeconomic, race or faith backgrounds.”

CAPE Outlook has been closely monitoring this story and has offered commentary on the proposal previously.

Louisiana Governor Signs ESA Legislation

800px-Louisiana_State_Capitol_Building imageLouisiana Governor Jeff Landry signed legislation establishing the state’s first education savings account program. Dubbed the “Giving All True Opportunity to Rise” (GATOR) Scholarship Program, this initiative is set to dramatically improve educational opportunities for students across the Pelican State.

Families will be able to access the scholarship funds beginning in August 2025. While the program will be implemented in phases, ultimately all K-12 students will be eligible for the program, regardless of household income. Private school tuition will be among the allowable uses for the scholarship funds.

Huge Investment in Indiana Private Catholic Schools

Photo credit: Michael Gallenberger / Lakeshore Public Media

From Lakeshore Public Media:

“The nation’s largest single investment in Catholic K-12 schools was announced in Northwest Indiana on Wednesday. The Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation says it’s giving $150 million over the next 10 years to the Big Shoulders Fund, a nonprofit that supports Catholic schools in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana.

That money will impact all 20 schools of the Diocese of Gary, according to Big Shoulders Fund CEO Josh Hale.

‘This transformational donation will open many doors, allowing the creation and enhancement of curriculum, providing advancement in professional development and growth opportunities for teachers and school leadership, assisting with enrollment and tuition management, providing infrastructure improvements where needed and, perhaps most importantly, creating valuable support services to meet the learning needs of all these children,’ Hale said.”

Condoleezza Rice Goes Viral Defending School Choice

Dr. Condoleezza Rice — former U.S. Secretary of State and Director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford — recently offered a trenchant defense of school choice. Speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, Rice highlighted the disproportionate impact that lack of school choice has on minority and low-income families.

Watch part of her now-viral speech here.

Do You Want to Start A School?

If so, you should read EdChoice’s newly published “The School Starter Checklist” to help potential founders understand the regulatory landscape for private schools across the U.S. The document outlines the necessary steps for establishing a private school, including registration, licensing, curriculum requirements, and staff qualifications. Also covered are specialized regulations for emerging educational models like virtual learning and microschools. Read the checklist here.