Sunday, February 7, 2010

California Public Hebrew School?

A proposal to open the first Hebrew-language charter school in the state was handed a major setback when school trustees in the Santa Clarita Valley deadlocked over the project's approval -- blocking its progress.

Several trustees for the William S. Hart Union High School District said they worried that the school would be a religious academy and might lack ethnic diversity.

No kidding! Ya think?

The real problem is not even lack of diversity, it's that this would appear on its face to be a direct violation of separation of church and state. But there might be more to this story than the article is reporting. Otherwise I can't believe that a proposal for a publicly funded school in a liturgical religious language would even have gotten off the ground at all. It's a non-starter, which is another way of saying ridiculous. At one point, supporters protest that there would be instruction in other classical languages like Latin and Greek. Sure - and how about Arabic? How about classes in Qu'ranic history? How about a required class on the works of Spinoza? That's what I want taught in this school. Then I'll believe it's not just an excuse to use taxpayer dollars to support someone's private superstitions. And I couldn't agree more with this mom:

...others suggested that the proposed school should be a private facility, similar to several local parochial schools, rather than be funded by taxpayers. "It makes me wonder why one faith should be favored over another," said one speaker, adding that she pays for her children to attend a private Christian academy.

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