March 14, 2019

CUA Law Professor Mark Rienzi was quoted in a March 13 article from the Catholic New Agency entitled "DeVos allows religious groups to provide educational services."

DeVos allows religious groups to provide educational services

From: Catholic News Agency
By: Christine Rousselle
Date: March 13, 2019

The Department of Education will no longer enforce a provision that forbids religious organizations from providing federally-funded educational services to private schools. The decision was announced in a March 11 letter addressed to congressional leadership.

"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," wrote Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in the Monday letter.
. . .

Mark Rienzi, president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and a professor at the Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law, told CNA that he believes the change is "actually constitutionally required."

"What the Department of Education said was they understand that the Constitution and the Supreme Court's recent decisions about the Constitution make clear that the government can't exclude religious people and religious organizations from participating in otherwise neutral programs," Rienzi told CNA.

Rienzi explained that it would be different if the government were hiring people to preach religion or to celebrate Mass, but in this case, it involves hiring teachers from a religiously-affiliated school to teach secular subjects, such as English as a second language classes.

"What the Department of Education said is that the Constitution does not allow the government to exclude religious groups and religious organizations from participating on equal terms with everybody else in those kinds of programs," he explained.

. . .


Click here to read the full article.