The Department of Education announces the joint final rule regarding equal treatment of faith-based organizations in social service programs supported by the Department December 14, 2020 Contact: Press office , (202) 401-1576, Press@ed.gov
  • Washington - Today, December 14, 2020, the Department of Education announced a joint final rule with eight agencies: the Department of Justice, the Department of National Security, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Health, the Department of Human Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Agriculture, the Agency for International Development, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to implement Executive Order No. 13831 of President Trump, on the establishment of an initiative of Faith and Opportunity of White House ( May 3, 2018). This rule ensures that religious and non-religious organizations are also treated in programs supported by the Department, and clarifies that religious organizations do not lose their protections and legal rights only because they participate in federal programs and activities.

    "Religious freedom is a fundamental principle of Bedrock that this administration constantly demonstrates its commitment to defend vigorously," said Secretary of Education of the United States, Betsy Devos. "In the Department of Education, we Continue to ensure that faith-based organizations, including institutions based on faith, do not renounce their first amendment rights as a condition of participating in taxpayer programs. We will Continue to ensure that educational providers Faith-based, they are also treated together with their secular counterparts. Under this administration, religious discrimination in education is never tolerated. "

    This final rule guarantees equality of treatment for organizations based on Faith, consistent with the Constitution and other federal laws. Eliminates the requirements in previous regulations that place unequal loads in religious organizations, throw unexcused suspicions on them, and were in tension with their rights of religious freedom. This final rule also clarifies that religious organizations do not lose various legal protections because they participate in federal programs and activities, such as housing rights and protections under the First Amendment, Restoration Law of Religious Freedom and other federal laws.

    This final rule preserves most of the existing regulations that govern the participation of religious organizations in the Department's financial assistance programs, including the provisions that hinder discriminatory suppliers against beneficiaries based on Religion and that require any religious activity by the organization to separate at the time or location of any directly financed service with federal money.

    The final rule was written in response to Executive Order 13831, issued in May 2018. The agencies worked collaboratively for proposed regulatory warnings projects that were published or delivered to Congress in January 2020 . The nine agencies received more than 95,000. Public comments from a range of stakeholders, including members of Congress; Governments, agencies and state and local officials; providers of services based on faith and umbrella organizations; Lawyer Organizations; and individuals. The agencies considered those comments, modified their regulations to address the concerns raised in the comments and drafted the responses that are included in the final rule.

    The action of today follows the actions of the past department to protect religious freedom, including: enforcing the application. of a restriction that except religious organizations to serve as providers of equitable service contracts only due to their religious affiliation; Update the orientation of the Department on Protected Prayer constitutionally of religious expression in elementary and secondary schools; Announcing the guidance to protect religious freedom.

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