Stitt, Oklahoma AG, Spar On Religious Charter School Policy


Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt expressed his support for religious charter schools and strong disagreement with Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s Feb. 23 letter in which he urged “caution” to the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board while considering St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School’s pending application.

According to a letter from Stitt to Drummond made publicly available from the governor’s office, Stitt prefers the viewpoint of the former state AG on the matter.

“In that opinion, your predecessor, Attorney General John O’Connor, concluded – in my view correctly – that provisions of Oklahoma law prohibiting charter schools from being ‘affiliated with a nonpublic sectarian school or religious institution,’ and requiring them to ‘be nonsectarian in [their] programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations,’ 70 0.S.2021, § 3-136(A)(2), likely violate the First Amendment’s prohibition on religious discrimination,” Stitt wrote.

He continues, “You contend that the United States and the Oklahoma Constitutions permit, and indeed require, the state to discriminate against religious organizations seeking authorization to operate charter schools. In fact, the opposite is true.”

Stitt’s full letter can be viewed here.