Last fall, Islamist Watch wrote to the Minnesota Board of Education warning that some applicants who wish to sponsor charter schools in the state, like the Minnesota Education Trust (MET), have a religious agenda that violates the neutrality public schools must maintain before their student body with regard to religion.
The MET is suing the school board after it was rejected for attempting to promote Islam. Today's Star Tribune reports:
The Education Department denied the application because a new state law forbids religious groups from sponsoring charter schools, and MET has a "sectarian nature and mission," state Education Commissioner Alice Seagren said in a letter to the group last week.
Seagren's letter laid out a list of "entanglements" that she said MET has with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota. She also pointed out that several people who helped found the group have ties to Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA), including the school's principals.
Even if the MET can argue its way out of such "entanglements," how can it take back its self-declared purpose on its 990 tax forms, which explicitly states that the MET's goal is to "promote the message of Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims and promote understanding between them, promote interfaith activities and dialogue, support schools, community centers, mosques, and other organizations that serve the goals of the organization"?
IW encourages all its readers to write letters to the Star Tribune and the Minnesota Board of Education, reminding them that it is illegal to use taxpayer money to promote any one faith in any public institution, including charter schools.
The Star Tribune can be reached at: Editorial Department, Star Tribune, 425 Portland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55488. Submissions may be sent by fax to 612-673-4359 or by email at this link.
The Minnesota Department of Education can be reached at: 1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville, MN 55113. The phone number is 651-582-8200.