Restoring Parental Choice in Education

Regent alumni and Christian Law Association Attorney Barbara Weller (’95) assisted in ensuring that families and churches are protected when choosing how their children will be educated.  A Christian school can have a really positive impact on a community – and attorneys help protect these basic liberties for restoring parental choice in education.  


A discouraged pastor recently called CLA when his local zoning board would not allow the church to start a Christian school, a vision the church had dreamed about for a long time. One of the neighbors had complained to city officials about the church's plans.  Could CLA become involved?

According to Attorney David Gibbs, "This is an increasing problem nationwide. Ministries are continually being told that they may not have a larger religious impact on their communities. This epidemic must stop."

After communicating with city officials and the town attorney, CLA attorneys filed suit in North Carolina on behalf of the church. It was an uphill battle to get past the legal roadblocks that had been set up. Zoning, noise levels, and traffic flow were just a few of the issues that the town had to consider.

CLA won the case! As a result, a judge ordered the town to allow the school to meet. The church is now able to fulfill its dream and minister to local children through a new Christian school. The pastor cried when he heard the good news. He sent us an email with the following words of encouragement: "We are rejoicing in the Lord because we can see the vision for our church finally starting to materialize. Thank you all so much for everything. We pray God's blessings be on you and everything you're doing."

Throughout the length of the case, this ministry kept a great testimony with the city council and plans to work with them as the school grows. We praise God for giving this victory so this church can reach more children with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 CLA provides the following services:

  • Legal Service to churches and Christians in matters of the faith
  • Preaching services and teaching seminars
  • Publications and radio program on over 1250 radio outlets, The Legal Alert
  •  Capitol Prayer: Round-the-clock prayer in Washington, D.C.
  • HELPS: Home educators legal protection services

 CLA provides free legal services based in part on the generosity of God's people. 


  1. It is great to hear positive news such as this article. It still doesn't solve the problem that despite now having the choice of sending their kids to this christian school, the parents are forced to continue subsidizing the local public school system for those individuals that refuse to report sufficient income to fund their own childrens' education.

  2. I can understand the annoyance one feels in paying for a service that one does not use, but it is a flat necessity. If every parent who chose a private school education for their children were be exempt from paying school taxes the entire public education system would quickly and rapidly go bankrupt. If we as a country think that our democracy is more stable and strong economically with an educated population then the last thing we as a nation could ever do is rip the funding heart out of those state programs. Remember the top 10% of the wealthy pay most of our taxes and they are also the group most likely to send their kids to private school. So by stopping the required taxes from them you are effectively taking away over 50% of all school funding.

  3. That is why it is important to have a school voucher type program that would allow both the "top 10%" and the "bottom 10%" to have a meaningful choice to direct the education of their children as they see fit. The state could allow this and still maintain effective learning standards by requiring annual testing. States that have allowed voucher type programs have often had great success with them. Ironically the greatest opposition to them is from the teacher unions... who care more about job security than meaningful school choice or the best interests of the children. Education is a perfect example of where the best interest of the child is also in the best interest of the parents, family, state and nation.

  4. While I agree that this is great news in that the parents of the children who are/will be attending this private, Christian school are now able to truly determine the course of their children's education...I still have to agree that their continued support of the public education system through their taxes is critical for students nationwide. God has not blessed all families with the means necessary to send their children to private institutions, and as a Christian, I think that it is our duty to support not only ourselves but also (reasonably) those who cannot logistically pursue what can often be an expensive endeavor into private education (though this does not account for all public school students' families, it certainly accounts for enough). I agree that this is also where the voucher system would have some potential (and has had some documented success as well).

    Nevertheless, it is always good to hear a success story like this on from North Carolina!

  5. This article is very encouraging. Three years ago I probably would have never even thought of a Christian education. My whole life I always compartmentalized my faith and my education. But once the Lord permeated my academic world, he transcended my entire existence. Never did I think I could fulfill my purpose through my profession. Instead, I thought that my job was completely separate than what God wanted me to do. But it is awesome to know that I am fulfilling the calling God has over my life through my legal profession. This is a principle I may have never learned without Christian education.