The same day that the West Bend School Board voted against entering contract negotiations with a Baptist pastor to run a publicly funded charter school, The Dallas Morning News ran a story focusing on the large number of charter schools in Texas that used to be parochial schools or had other religious ties.
In addition to noting that more than 20% of Texas charter schools have some kind of religious ties, the story says that such church-charter partnerships are popping up around the country and blurring the lines between church and state.
"You have to wonder what the impetus is," Dan Quinn, a spokesman for Texas Freedom Network, is quoted as saying in the story. "What is the catalyst for becoming a charter because at that point they've abandoned the mission of being a religious institution?"
The story also points out some non-Christian examples, including Harmony Public Schools run by Turkish Muslims and Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy run by Islam Relief.
The pastor who proposed the charter school for West Bend has said that his church would not play a role in the school and that it would abide by laws that forbid religious teachings in public schools. But West Bend School District officials and others raised concerns about the school's curriculum and funding model.