There is a wonderful organization in Texas called Pastors for Texas Children, led by the indefatigable Pastor Charles Foster Johnson of Fort Worth.

Their members span the state, and they have worked with public schools and parents to oppose vouchers, which would destroy many communities and defund their community’s public schools.

Pastor Johnson recently sent out this letter:

Pastors for Texas Children is a three-year-old organization that mobilizes the faith community for public education assistance and advocacy. Our website is

Our goal is to connect every single local congregation to every single public school in wrap-around care and school improvement assistance – especially high-need schools in poor neighborhoods. We do this always under the authority of the local superintendent and principal – and always scrupulously adhering to the principles of religious liberty and church/state separation.

We believe fully in the First Amendment prohibition against any religious instruction in our public schools. But we also believe that faith communities should be 100% behind public education as a core institution of democratic society and the common good.

In addition to this local school assistance, we also advocate for good and just public education policy in state government. We favor full funding for our schools, particularly universal Pre-K instruction, and we oppose any privatization of our public schools, especially vouchers. We have become a significant voice in preventing a voucher bill from passing in Texas.

We presently have 2000 partners in our organization representing 1000 congregations, and are rapidly expanding. Our movement has spread to Oklahoma where Pastors for Oklahoma Kids has just been established. We are holding conversations with ministers in several other states, and hope to spread our mission nationwide.

If you are interested in helping us do this– or connecting us to your minister and or congregation– please do not hesitate to call the Rev. Charles Foster Johnson, executive director, at 210-378-1066 or email him at

We at the Network for Public Education have offered our full assistance to Pastor Johnson and his group. Our Texas members have generated hundreds of letters to their legislators. We are delighted to see that this movement to strengthen separation of church and state has spread to Oklahoma. We hope that faith leaders in communities across the nation reach out of Pastor Johnson and learn how to create an effective organization in their own state. A group like this could do a world of good in the South and the Midwest, especially in communities where the public school is the hub of the community and where competition will defund the public schools.

I can’t think of anything more effective than having faith leaders insisting on separation of church and state. Thoughtful faith leaders know that they should retain their autonomy and that federal and state money will in time erode their religious freedom. If churches need federal or state money to survive, they don’t have a strong base of support among their members, and they will pay a steep price for public aid.