Mentoring is absolutely critical to pretty much everyone’s success. One of my social work field placements nearly 25 years ago was with the mentoring portion of Career Beginnings and focused on inner-city high school students in the Cleveland area. So to read about the unnecessary injection of a religious-oriented requirement into the new $10 million Community Connectors, state-funded program was terribly disappointing. That injection also occurred after the two chambers of our statehouse approved the legislation, after the governor spoke about the program and after he signed the bill into law. That alone has put the process of how the requirement came into existence under scrutiny too.
Regardless, due to the public funding, it is unconstitutional to require that applicants to the Community Connectors program have the involvement of a religious institution.
Please let the state superintendent know how you feel about the current Community Connectors program religious institution requirement. Call or email today:
State Superintendent Richard Ross:
This situation is also an excellent example as to the importance of having elected public officials who are willing to be a check and balance. From the Plain Dealer article,
State school board member Stephanie Dodd questioned Ross about the requirement and its critics Tuesday. Ross told her that he considers the Community Connectors program too important to be disrupted by a court battle, so he would rather drop the requirement than threaten a program he believes will help a lot of students.