Sacramento City Unified School District's Waldorf-inspired schools have seemingly overcome the last hurdle in their battle to assert the constitutionality of their methodology.

The struggle began some 14 years ago, in 1998, when a nonprofit group called People for Legal and Non-Sectarian Schools, or PLANS Inc., sued the district. PLANS alleged that Waldorf schools violated the First Amendment prohibition against establishing religion by teaching the religion anthroposophy, and that Waldorf instruction should thus should be barred from public funding.

Whether or not anthroposophy is a religion, and if so whether it is being taught in the schools is at the heart of the matter.

According to district officials, Sacramento City Unified spent nearly $590,000 to fight the lawsuit since 1998. A representative spokesperson for the district said that the fight was important and that, "Parents shouldn't have to go to private schools to have a full array of educational opportunities."

A principal of one of the schools subject to the lawsuit said, "This educational approach is about human development and human growth. It's not just learning facts and information that will be tested at the end of the year. We say we teach children, we don't teach standards. It's about the whole child."

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