Minnesota directs Tarik ibn Zayad Academy to remedy concerns about prayer sessions, busing

A Saint Paul, Minnesota charter school catering to Muslims complies with federal and state laws, the state Education Department said, but it suggested changes be made in religious areas. The state recommended the Tarik ibn Zayad Academy change its bussing schedule and handling of Friday prayer services, saying that shorter prayer services on most days were acceptable, but a 30-minute block for Friday prayers was not acceptable. The Education Department investigated into the school after a substitute teacher alleged that the school was offering Islamic religious instruction to its students. Minnesota state law requires charter schools to have more autonomy than traditional public schools, but maintains that they must be nonsectarian. The schools executive director, Asad Zaman, said that the findings were significant as no problems were found with the school’s curriculum, but they will comply with the recommended changes.