Education Department ends discrimination against Christians Under Supreme Court "Order"
The U.S. Department of Education will no longer enforce a restriction that previously prohibited school districts from contracting with faith-based organizations to provide equitable services to vulnerable children solely due to their religious affiliation.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which governs the nation's elementary, middle and high schools, requires that school districts offer low-income or vulnerable students who attend private schools the same services, such as special education, tutoring or mentoring, that public school students receive.
The federal law also requires that organizations contracting for those services be independent of "any religious organization."
However, this restriction barring religious organizations from serving as contractors runs counter to the 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, that held that under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, otherwise eligible recipients cannot be disqualified from a public benefit solely because of their religious character.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said, "The Trinity Lutheran decision reaffirmed the long-understood intent of the First Amendment to not restrict the free exercise of religion. Those seeking to provide high-quality educational services to students and teachers should not be discriminated against simply based on the religious character of their organization."
"It took several years to reverse this obvious discriminatory policy against Christians and other non-profit religious groups serving the poor and then more time to "quickly" (sic) get the federal government to comply with a court ruling. Public Advocate is finding similar responses to following specific reversal of other more destructive Obama policies and will be vigilant in announcing our efforts to protect Christian and other religious charities," said Eugene Delgaudio, president of Public Advocate.
Hat tip to Christian News Wire, Liberty Counsel