Schools hosting churches spurs debate

Oregon schools hosting churches spurs debate

Faith News Note: This week it was reported that 8 of the 10 largest school districts in Oregon rent out their school for church services and these church-school relationships sometimes create complaints . The Salem School District rents out to 25 churches alone.    Critics like the American Civil Liberties Union have complained that churches begin hosted in schools makes it hard for the public to separate the two. Supporters say they have backing by Supreme Court decisions against religious discrimination and that they follow the rules.

The Southside Community Church in Newberg was hosted in an elementary school for three years before moving on. The pastor stated that they felt pressure from the school board about the placement.  Southside Community Pastor, WIlly Burns, told the Christian Post, “To say that churches that are renting the facilities are being supported by the schools is nonsensical. If any group wants to come in and rent the facility they may, and I think that is a real win for the school district, especially given the harsh economic times we live in where schools are being hit hard and teachers are being cut.”

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