ERIC Number: EJ851079
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Reference Count: 26
Tearing down the Walls: Cyber Charter Schools and the Public Endorsement of Religion
Cambre, Belinda M.
TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, v53 n4 p61-64 Jul 2009
States have the ability to regulate cyber charter schools just as they regulate traditional schools, private schools, and homeschooling. The situation becomes trickier in terms of religion. In homeschool settings, parents have the right to deliver religious education to their children. Under "Zelman v. Simmons-Harris" (2002), a cyber charter provider, or a parent in the role of instructor, may deliver religious instruction as long as the cyber school is not discriminating in any manner. Trends in case law appear to protect parental rights outside of the school setting, and to protect the school's rights within the setting. However, when one begins to "tear down the walls" and blurs the lines between traditional schools and home cyber charter schools, many issues will become tricky. With parents taking an increased role in their child's education, new legal issues emerge. Parents may not have the ability to control or alter the curriculum. Parents may also be prevented from opting in to a cyber charter for part-time purposes. These actions, however, may not rise to the level necessary to prove state actor status triggering liability on the part of the parent. Cyber charter schools come with great advantages for both students and administrators, but they also come with particular issues which should be thoroughly discussed before allowing the establishment of such schools by religious organizations.
Descriptors: Traditional Schools, Legal Problems, Charter Schools, Parent Rights, Private Schools, Home Schooling, Religion, Religious Education, Online Courses, Computer Uses in Education, Court Litigation, Parent Participation, Legal Responsibility, Nontraditional Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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