An atheist group is asking the Cedar Falls School Board to reconsider a plan that would pay for renovations to a local church that houses one of the district’s preschools. The Board of Education approved a construction contract last week that will pay more than $60,000 for renovation work at the Kaio Church in Cedar Falls, which is located next door to the district’s Southdale Elementary.
The work includes adding a janitor’s closet and two handicap-accessible restrooms. But the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a letter to the district asking that the plan be abandoned.
The foundation believes the contract violates part of the Iowa Constitution that says no person shall be “compelled to attend a place of worship.” The school district disagrees, saying that what is being taught is more important than where it is being taught. Cedar Falls Superintendent David Stoakes says the district plans to go ahead with the renovation contract.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls