The Trump administration is considering changing rules that govern how faith-based higher education institutions can receive federal funding.
According to The Christian Post, US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is reviewing the rules that restrict faith-based institutions from receiving federal funding.
The Education Department will reportedly hold a “rulemaking panel” to explore possible changes that would allow faith-based colleges to more easily offer federal student aid and other forms of federal funding.
Although the US Constitution mandates the separation of church and state, some lawmakers have expressed concern that current rules “unnecessarily restrict participation by religious entities” in federal programs such as student financial aid.
"For example, some provisions may be overly broad in their prohibition of activities or services that relate to sectarian instruction or religious worship," Department of Education officials noted. "Other provisions may be overly broad in prohibiting the benefits a borrower may receive based on faith-based activity."
Ultimately, the goal of the Education Department’s review of current rules regarding religious higher education institutions is to “"reduce or eliminate unnecessary burdens and restrictions on religious entities and activities."
The Christian Post noted that there is federal judiciary precedent for changing these rules, such as the recent case of Trinity Lutheran Church vs. Comer, in which the US Supreme Court ruled that a preschool run by the church could receive federal aid to help renovate its playground.
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Publication date: May 11, 2018