Michele Bachmann's path into politics was one followed by many conservative Christians: through the schools. Bachmann sent her five kids to religious schools near her suburban Minnesota home, but she sent her 23 foster kids to public schools. She found the materials brought home by those kids to be troubling. So in 1993, she helped found one of the first public charter schools in her state. Only three months after the school opened, Bachmann faced controversy for the religious bent of the curriculum, Bloomberg's Lisa Lerer and John McCormick report. One teacher, for example, had banned Aladdin because the Disney movie mentioned magic.
The Bloomberg profile offers several anecdotes that illuminate the character of Bachmann, the Tea Party favorite whose potential presidential candidacy is looking more serious. The story indicates just how central Christianity is to Bachmann's political career, and drops some interesting anecdotes.
When parents complained that Bachmann's publicly-funded school was overtly religious, the school district investigated and found that to be true. In fact, a board created to guide the school, which Bachmann sat on, advocated mandatory prayer. Bachmann resigned, though she said it was for academic reasons. Bachmann said she wanted to pair at-risk kids with high-achievers. "We were trying to bring kids up, and instead it ended up being a school focused on minimum level of achievement," she told Bloomberg. Bachmann moved on to joining a homeschooling group, then ran for school board office to overturn a state-mandated curriculum.