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DeVos Makes Federal Grant Money Contingent Upon Compliance With First Amendment

DeVos Makes Federal Grant Money Contingent Upon Compliance With First Amendment

“These regulations hold public institutions accountable for protecting the First Amendment rights of students and student organizations, and they require private colleges and universities that promise their students and faculty free expression, free inquiry, and diversity of thought to live up to those ideals.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBe8R3AlD1U

The Department of Education announced Wednesday that the Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities final rule will “ensure that public institutions of higher education uphold fundamental rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and that private institutions of higher education adhere to their own policies regarding freedom of speech, including academic freedom.”

The Cliffsnotes:

https://twitter.com/AdamKissel/status/1303750138473648128?s=20

https://twitter.com/AdamKissel/status/1303751733395554307?s=20

https://twitter.com/AdamKissel/status/1303751887544557568?s=20

https://twitter.com/AdamKissel/status/1303752016410353666?s=20

And the full report:

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivered on her promise to protect free inquiry and religious liberty on campus by publishing the Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities final rule. The new rule will ensure that public institutions of higher education uphold fundamental rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and that private institutions of higher education adhere to their own policies regarding freedom of speech, including academic freedom. The final rule also ensures the equal treatment and constitutional rights of religious student organizations at public institutions and provides clarity for faith-based institutions with respect to Title IX.

“This administration is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of students, teachers, and faith-based institutions. Students should not be forced to choose between their faith and their education, and an institution controlled by a religious organization should not have to sacrifice its religious beliefs to participate in Department grants and programs,” said Secretary DeVos. “These regulations hold public institutions accountable for protecting the First Amendment rights of students and student organizations, and they require private colleges and universities that promise their students and faculty free expression, free inquiry, and diversity of thought to live up to those ideals.”

The Department’s final rule was created after reviewing more than 17,000 public comments. It addresses four areas of critical importance:

  • First, to implement Executive Order 13864, Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities, public colleges and universities must comply with the First Amendment as a requirement to receive Department grants. Private institutions of higher education must comply with their own stated institutional policies regarding freedom of speech, including academic freedom, as a requirement of Department grants. Due to the well-developed body of case law by state and federal courts on First Amendment rights and violations of stated institutional policies, the Department will rely upon a final, non-default judgment by a state or federal court to determine whether a public or private institution has violated these material grant conditions.
  • Second, the rule clarifies how an institution may demonstrate that it is controlled by a religious organization for purposes of Title IX. Federal law provides that Title IX “shall not apply” to educational institutions that are “controlled by a religious organization,” to the extent that application of Title IX would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization. Neither Title IX nor its implementing regulations have ever before defined what it means for a school to be “controlled by a religious organization.” The final rule includes a non-exhaustive list of some of the most common concrete factors that an institution may rely upon to demonstrate that it is “controlled by a religious organization” for Title IX purposes.
  • Third, the rule ensures equal treatment of religious student organizations at public colleges and universities. As a requirement of the Department’s grants, public colleges and universities must not deny to a religious student group any of the rights, benefits, or privileges that other student groups enjoy. For example, a religious student group must have the same rights as other student groups at the public institution to receive official recognition, to use the institution’s facilities, and to receive student fee funds. Equal treatment of religious student groups is now a material condition of the Department’s grants.
  • Fourth, the rule revises regulations governing some discretionary grant programs under Titles III and V of the Higher Education Act of 1964, as amended, to better align with the First Amendment and other federal laws. Current regulations could prohibit a school from using such a grant for even secular activities or services such as teaching a course about world religions. The rule more narrowly tailors the prohibition on the use of these grants to religious instruction, religious worship, or proselytization. The rule also more narrowly defines a “school or department of divinity” to clarify that institutions are not prohibited from using grants for a secular department of religion.

A fact sheet on the final rule is available here. The final rule will be effective 60 days after the date of official publication in the Federal Register.

 

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Comments

The Dept. of Education should be eliminated. But until then, this is a good stop-gap measure.

    Geologist in reply to Paul. | September 9, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    I am pretty sure that the US Constitution does not authorize the US govt to operate a Dept of Education, which means that this is not within the enumerated powers. Lots of what the fed govt does is not within the enumerated powers and is therefore not constitutional for the govt to do.

      Milhouse in reply to Geologist. | September 9, 2020 at 3:52 pm

      Actually the US constitution authorizes Congress to create whatever departments it likes. There is no restriction on the number of departments or their purpose. What it doesn’t authorize Congress to do is appropriate money for education, or regulate education other than incidentally to its other powers (e.g. the militia clauses are sufficient authorization for Congress to fund and/or regulate shooting sports programs in high schools and colleges).

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Paul. | September 10, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Good for DeVos. But I predict that a federal lawsuit will quickly be filed alleging the new rules are unconstitutional or have violated the administrative procedures act or a host of any complaints designed simply to delay implementation of the new rules as the lawsuit(s) work their way through the federal court system. Legislate by lawsuit. It’s the way the democrats do things these days.

End ALL government funding of non-STEM higher education! TODAY!!

There is no way the taxpayer should be subsidizing this illegal, racist nonsense!

    CommoChief in reply to Wisewerds. | September 9, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Wisewerds,

    Non STEM is, IMO, too broad. Maybe we could agree that if the course title or major/minor subject title has ‘studies’ in its name that it is almost certainly BS?

    History, Writing, Philosophy, Economics among other disciplines would go unfunded under your current definition.

      The definition of “studies” in a course title is equivalent to”, bullsh** pertaining to.” Non-STEM “sciences,” and sadly even some STEM at the “progressive” universities, may have too great a leftist indoctrination content, like any so-called history that is based on the 1619 project, or AOC-onomics or “You didn’t build that” political science.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Wisewerds. | September 9, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    End funding for all business majors also.

    For decades colleges have used them as the marketers call it “CASH COWS.”

    Cash Cow means the cost of making it are almost nothing compared to STEM majors, but the degrees really rake in the BIG BUCKS.

    Haven’t you wondered why every dog and its fleas were offering MBA (masters of business administration) degrees?

This is why the left hates this woman. We didn’t have a Dept of Ed before Nixon.

Comanche Voter | September 9, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Sock it to ’em Ms. DdVos. I want to hear those college administrators howl!

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

I agree with Paul that the Department of Education should be abolished (and shouldn’t have been created in the first place), but if it’s there, at least let it do some good for a change.

Katy L. Stamper | September 9, 2020 at 4:41 pm

Groovy.

And sure, abolish the fed Department of Ed.

Before 1979 it was part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, which was created in 1953. The rest of HEW is now Health and Human Services (HHS).

Nixon had no role in creating the Department of Education, unless the fact he was Vice President when HEW was created, somehow counts.

Dang, Secretary DeVos is going to lose her popularity with the left, if she isn’t careful.

This is good. You want federal money? Respect peoples’ Constitutional rights, and don’t make it sound difficult.

Listening to the howls from the leftists will be interesting. Cornell’s movement against the Prof will be affected in a most intriguing manner.

I claim the popcorn vending contract. Grizzly, are you selling tickets?
.

She shouldn’t have put “academic freedom” in there. The academy doesn’t merit any freedoms the rest of us don’t have. The Bill of Rights should be enough for anybody.

Another obvious problem is that nobody knows what “academic freedom” is. It has no Constitutional basis and basically means whatever somebody—or anybody—wants it to mean. That’s no solid foundation for a right. Undefined “rights” will promptly be abused by definitional fantasy, a.k.a. NewSpeak.

Historically “academic freedom” means that schools can’t clear out faculty who are blatant propagandists rather than educators. Or, more exactly, it expands the concept of “education” to include indoctrination. This is not something which should automatically and without question be protected by force of law.

She has been in position for a while now, why is it only now, with the election coming soon, that she decides on this?

    Milhouse in reply to oldgoat36. | September 9, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    She decided on it a long time ago. It’s now gone through the rule-making process. A future Democrat in her position would need several years of rule-making process to get rid of it.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to oldgoat36. | September 9, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    Something to do with the 1619 Project of Oprah and the New York Crimes paper?

They don’t have to get rid of it, they only have to ignore it – which will happen on Day One of the next Dem Administration. Nobody will notice because we’ll have a lot bigger problems to deal with.

I wouldn’t stop at grant money. If a college or university wants their students to be able to pay with taxpayer-backed student loans there should be the same requirement with regards to the 1A.

THIS is why Betsy was placed in this position.

I thought she was a Common core supporter.
That wouldn’t seem to be a compatible position.

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