Ohio Department of Education Changes Definition of "Faith-based"

The program, Community Connectors, provides up to $500 thousand dollars to partnerships who provide mentoring to at-risk Ohio students. In proposing it, the governor said faith-based organizations and community non-profits are enormous sources of social benefit to Ohio.

But in setting up the rules last month a group led by state school superintendent Richard Ross required that applicants include a faith-based organization. The American Civil Liberties Union objected saying that was crossing the church and state barrier. So now the Department of Education definition of what constitutes a “faith-based” organization has been changed. Spokesman John Charlton says it doesn’t mean organized religion.

“It’s any organization whose mission is based on the belief that every child’s life has a purpose and that instilling values such as hard work, discipline, and personal responsibility is necessary to ensure that mission be fulfilled.”

Charlton says due to the change in definition the department has extended the application deadline three week, until March 6th.

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