Betsy DeVos Would Not Deny Federal Funding to a School That Refuses to Admit Child of LGBT Family

At her Congressional hearing, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was asked directly if she would deny federal funding to the Lighthouse Christian zacademy in Bloomington, Indiana, which explicitly bans the enrollment ipof students who are homosexual or who live in a family where homosexual activity is practiced.

“Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts, cited Lighthouse Christian Academy’s enrollment brochure, which states that the private school can refuse admission or discontinue enrollment of a student living in a home environment that includes “homosexual or bisexual activity” or “practicing alternate gender identity.”

“The eight-page brochure, titled “Admissions Information and Policies 2017-2018,” can be found on Lighthouse Christian Academy’s website with other admission materials.

“Under a section titled, Biblical Lifestyle, its lists 10 behaviors “prohibited in the Bible,” including “heterosexual activity outside of one man-one-woman marriage;” “homosexual or bisexual activity or any form of sexual immorality;” and “practicing alternate gender identity or any other identity or behavior that violates God’s ordained distinctions between the two sexes, male and female.” Specific Bible verses are cited after each of the 10 behaviors.

“In situations in which the home life violates these standards, LCA reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student,” the brochure reads.”

The school currently receives more than $665,000 in state funding under the Indiana voucher program.

DeVos responded.

“The bottom line is we believe that parents are the best equipped to make choices for their children’s schooling and education decisions,” DeVos said, when given a chance to respond to the question uninterrupted. “Too many children today are trapped in schools that don’t work for them. We have to do something different than continuing a top down, one-size-fits all approach. States and local communities are best equipped to make these decisions and framework on behalf of their students.”

The follow-up question should have been whether she would approve funding to a school that enroll students who are of the same religion. The next question should have been whether federal funds could be disbursed to a school that does not admit students who are black.

Are we seeing the abandonment of the federal role as a guarantor of equal rights? Will the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights be handed over to Jeff Sessions? Or will it be led by someone who defends choice over civil rights?

from novemoore http://ift.tt/2rHHBOh

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