Update: Religious Groups Will Have To Pay To Use School Space


Source: Golden's office

When we published earlier in the week about Senator Marty Golden’s latest bill to eliminate a ban preventing religious groups from using public school space after hours, many of our commenters seemed concerned that it was unclear on whether they would have to pay for the privilege.

It wasn’t a matter of worship in schools, but a matter of who was footing the bill.

Well, we checked in on this, and, yes, if the ban does get lifted then religious institutions would have to pay to use the space – just like every civic, social and recreational group that currently uses it must.

“I introduced this bill in an effort to prevent school districts from excluding local organizations, including religious, from meeting on school property when school is not in use,” explained Golden. “I believe that a challenge to this ruling is merited, and if this bill should become law, this would aid community groups in their fight to reverse this decision. If we succeed, the organizations will continue to pay for the space and service based on the Department of Education guidelines.”

We tried to find those guidelines and the rates, but the Department of Education routed us through four different numbers before giving us a defunct e-mail address. Perhaps you need a few prayers to get an answer in this city…

  • Good.
    Now lets make religious organizations pay taxes at least as corporations do.

    • Anonymous

      because they are selling an idea? lol that is considered an income?  

      • MrsB

        They should pay property tax like anyone else, at least. 

        • Anonymous

          sure.. property tax yea.. if they own the property. Unless that land does not belong to the city , or if they rent than property tax is out of the question

    • Yeah, and ACORN too while we’re at it.

    • Barkingspider07

      I agree.  Why should religious institutes be free from paying taxes? 

  • NSF

    Sensible, money-generating idea that won’t interfere with public education.

  • opinionated123

    i think this is a great idea…I hope senator Golden succeeds is lifting this ban because theres nothing wrong with sharing space thats not being used….i mean they are willing to pay for it so y not…and besides sharing is caring! 

    • Hermanhomas

      UMMM he can’t do this because its unconstitutional….seperation of church and state this will impact the children of new york who will not be able to use the public building for secular after-school programs for everyone….also what would stop satanists and wiccans from worshipping there as well

  • Hermanhomas

    this is an outrage ive notified all my fellow athiest new yorkers to combat this. Senator Golden should start asking for job applications at dunkin donuts he’ll be radioactive after this blows up