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Homeschooling family says California made ‘burdensome’ requirements on faith to participate in charter school

California homeschooling parents say the state violated the U.S. Constitution by putting “burdensome” requirements on their family to hide their faith in a public charter school program. 

John and Breanna Woolard joined three other homeschooling parents who filed a lawsuit against California schools after their children’s public charter schools wouldn’t approve the faith-based educational resources they chose through their “independent study” option. 

“It’s very much like a traditional homeschooling program except with the state funding. But the problem is that many of these charter schools are saying that the parents can select any curriculum they want for their families so long as it’s not religious,” First Liberty Counsel Jonathan Butterfield told Fox News Digital.

First Liberty, which is representing the Woolard family in their lawsuit, said Blue Ridge Academy, a tuition-free charter school in Southern California, is guilty of religious discrimination. The suit filed on Oct. 11 claims the school restricted the Woolards from purchasing religious curriculum for their three school-age children, even if it met state education requirements, and refused to accept student work samples that derived from faith-based material.

“That’s the exact same thing California is doing here. California is saying, here’s this educational benefit. It’s available to everybody that enrolls in all these charter schools, and you can use it for anything except for religious curriculum,” he added.

Blue Ridge Academy didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. 

Fox News’ Brianna Herlihy contributed to this report.

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Kristine Parks is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Read more.


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