Religious discrimination in school admissions is opposed by people right across the religious and political spectrum. It is often the number one objection to faith schools and regarded by many as their most egregious aspect.
Faith-based admissions all require some way for parents to get proof or validation of their religion. This means that religious clerics play the role of gatekeepers to publicly funded schools. The circumstances in which these gatekeepers grant approval, their discretion, and the level of religious activity required varies widely. Because the law allows discriminatory policies, technical objections are often limited to challenging the basis of this endorsement or validation, or the consistency of their application.
The most obvious downside to faith-based admissions is that it builds discrimination into our schools system. The social economic selection resulting from faith-based admissions is well documented. The indirect effects are less obvious, particularly in minority faith schools. When coupled with a strong social pressure to attend faith schools, onerous and extremely intrusive admissions policies can be used by religious leaders to exert control over 'their' communities.
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