ACLU releases hundreds of documents in case against now-shuttered charter school

The ACLU says the documents back up its claims that TiZA illegally funneled taxpayer money to its religious landlords and promoted Islam in the curriculum. The group also says it's looking into at least a dozen other charter schools with religious affiliations in Minnesota to see whether they might be blurring the lines between church and state.
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

The ACLU has released hundreds of documents in its case against a now-shuttered charter school.

The group says the documents back up its claims that TiZA illegally funneled money to its religious landlords and promoted Islam in its curriculum.

The documents also allege the school was marketed to Muslim families as a school that would follow Islamic Law.

An attorney for TiZA tells Minnesota Public Radio that the ACLU is cherry-picking documents to spin the case and taint any potential jury should the case go to trial.

The ACLU is also investigating at least a dozen other charter schools with religious affiliations in Minnesota to see whether they are blurring the lines between church and state, according to executive director Chuck Samuelson.

Samuelson tells the Pioneer Press that TiZA has received nearly $20 million from the state and federal government. The group claims the school then funneled some of that money to its religious landlords.

Related

Charter school movement remembers its origins in Minnesota

It was twenty years ago when America's first charter school opened in St. Paul. One of the key state lawmakers in the movement says much of the credit belongs to a group of active citizens. Today there are more than 5,000 charter schools around the country. A national convention will meet in Minneapolis this month.

Study: Charter schools still failing to deliver

In a follow-up to a study released in 2008, researchers from the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota claim "charters still lag behind their traditional counterparts academically and remain more highly segregated by race and income." But the director for the Center for School Change tells MinnPost there's more to the story.

Hecker case prosecutor asks to have document sealed

A federal prosecutor in the fraud case of former Twin Cities auto dealer Denny Hecker petitioned the court Wednesday to seal a document in relation to Hecker's former co-defendant Steven Leach. U.S. prosecutor Nicole Engisch asked for the document to be sealed, which is viewed as unusual since nearly all documents in the case, which involved four defendants, have been open to public to this point.

Enrollment at Minnesota charter schools quadruples in past decade

A new report from the St. Paul-based Center for School Change found enrollment in Minnesota charter schools has grown to just under 40,000 students. Meanwhile, enrollment at traditional public schools fell five percent in the same time period. Minnesota's first charter school opened 20 years ago in St. Paul.

Next Up