Schools Declare Allowances for Prayer as Federally Mandated

May 13, 2003

Source: Plain Dealer

On May 13, 2003 the Plain Dealer reported that "threatened with the loss of federal money, the vast majority of the nation's schools have declared that they allow prayer wherever and however the Constitution permits... For the first time, federal law requires school districts to prove that they have no policy stifling court-protected prayer by students or teachers. Those that don't comply risk losing a share of elementary and secondary school money totaling $23 billion... Initial responses, due April 15, showed some states had dozens of schools out of compliance; other states failed to reply at all. But leaders in those states say paperwork problems, not trouble over prayer policies, accounted for the delay... Most of the more than 15,000 school districts have since certified that they follow the law, and federal officials seem content that the states have shown good faith."