Friday, October 09, 2015

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Catholic Education Daily


Victory in House for Religious Freedom of Catholic Colleges

The U.S. House voted 303-114 to repeal Obama administration regulations that threatened the religious liberty of Catholic colleges and the independence of all U.S. higher education by encouraging states to increase their scrutiny of colleges. H.R. 2117, the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act, repeals Department of Education regulations that The Cardinal Newman Society decried in November 2010:
In its latest threat to the religious liberty and independence of Catholic colleges and universities, the Obama administration has issued new regulations that open the door to possible state intrusion into curriculum, student policies and hiring decisions. The regulations issued Friday effectively force many states to increase oversight of postsecondary education through state chartering or licensing, which is a necessary condition for colleges to participate in federal student aid programs. Most Catholic colleges accept low-cost federal student loans and grants. If forced to forego federal aid, these colleges would be at a disadvantage in recruiting students. “The door is opened for state politicians and bureaucrats who would impose their social agendas on private and religious colleges,” warned Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Already the Obama administration has seized direct ownership of student loans, and now a college’s eligibility for student loans is subject to the political whims of its state legislators and regulators. Many states have demonstrated callous disregard for the religious identity of Catholic colleges, from mandating contraceptive coverage in student and employee health plans to requiring employee benefits for same-sex couples.”

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