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Faith-based Head Start dies in committee

A congressional committee rejected an amendment that would have allowed religious groups that discriminate in hiring to receive Head Start funds. The U.S. House of Representatives Education Committee voted last week to reject the amendment, ending for now years of efforts by some faith-based groups to receive funds to run the popular federally funded preschool programs. Jewish groups were split on the decision. The Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America backed the amendment, but its rejection was welcomed by the Anti-Defamation League.”ADL greatly values the extraordinary role religious institutions have historically played in addressing many of our nation’s most pressing social needs as a critical complement to government-funded programs,” an ADL statement said. “But we draw the line at government-funded religious discrimination. Faith-based organizations who receive federal funding must not discriminate on the basis of religion in government-funded positions.”