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People for Legal and Non-Sectarian Schools (PLANS) is an organization based in California in the United States which campaigns against the public funding of Waldorf methods charter schools alleging they violate the United States Constitution's separation of church and state. The group claims independent Waldorf schools and public Waldorf methods charter schools teach anthroposophical content, that this content is religious in nature, and that the schools disguise the anthroposophical content from the public. PLANS filed federal suit in 1998 against two California public school districts, Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, to halt the Waldorf methods educational programs implemented in two of their schools. The case was ultimately dismissed on its merits in 2012.
The group was founded in 1995 and became a California non-profit corporation in 1997. Its founding officers, president Debra Snell and secretary Dan Dugan are former Waldorf school parents. The organization numbered less than 50 members when the lawsuit was brought.
The group describes its mission as to
In February 1998, PLANS filed suit against two California public school districts, Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, operating Waldorf-methods schools; one operating a Waldorf-based charter school and the other operating a Waldorf-based magnet school. In the complaint, PLANS argued that it was "informed and believes that a primary purpose and primary effect of said operation of Waldorf schools is to advance religion, including the religious doctrines of Anthroposophy", and as such were acting in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Article IX of the California Constitution.
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