Colorado Cannot Withhold Funding From Preschools on Grounds of Catholic Beliefs, Federal Court Rules

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A federal court ruled Tuesday that the state of Colorado acted unconstitutionally when it excluded Catholic preschools from a state universal preschool funding program (UPK) on the grounds that the schools require staff and families to share Catholic beliefs, CBN News reports. Catholic preschools in the Archdiocese of Denver are now allowed to participate in the UPK program.

The Becket Law non-profit religious rights group filed the case in August last year on behalf of St. Mary Catholic Parish and St. Bernadette’s Catholic preschools.

The preschools were denied UPK benefits when the state learned that staff at both schools must uphold Catholic teaching on abortion, marriage, and sexuality, and pupils’ families must be in agreement with this. In addition, families agree that they understand the Catholic church’s stance on such matters.

Ordering the state’s Education Department to reverse its stance concerning the provision of funding to the plaintiffs, Colorado district judge John Kane wrote: “The department has allowed faith-based providers to deny children and families equal opportunity based on their religious affiliation, or lack thereof, and has cited no compelling interest for permitting that discrimination while denying plaintiff’s request for a related exemption.”

In a press release, Becket Law, which defends religious liberty for people of all faiths, said: “Families should be free to choose to send their kids to a Catholic preschool without forfeiting a public benefit—especially one the government has described as ‘universal.’”

Copyright 1999-2024 Worthy News. This article was originally published on Worthy News and was reproduced with permission.


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