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  1. #1
    mnjamie's Avatar
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    Line between seperation of Church and State blurred.

    House OKs Faith As Head Start Hiring Issue

    By BEN FELLER, AP Education Writer Thu Sep 22, 6:09 PM ET

    WASHINGTON - The House voted Thursday to let Head Start centers consider religion when hiring workers, overshadowing its moves to strengthen the preschool program's academics and finances.

    The Republican-led House approved a bill that lets churches and other faith-based preschool centers hire only people who share their religion, yet still receive federal tax dollars.

    Democrats blasted that idea as discriminatory.

    Launched in the 1960s, the nearly $7 billion Head Start program provides comprehensive education to more than 900,000 poor children. Though credited for getting kids ready for school, Head Start has drawn scrutiny as cases of financial waste and questions about academic quality have surfaced nationwide.

    Overall, the House bill would insert more competition into Head Start grants, require greater disclosure of how money is spent, and try to improve collaboration among educators in different grades. Yet on Thursday, the dispute over religion eroded the bipartisan support for Head Start's renewal.

    The House passed the bill 231-184; only 23 Democrats voted for it.

    GOP lawmakers, with backing from the White House, contend that preschool centers should not have to give up their religious autonomy in order to receive federal grants.

    "This is about our children, and denying them exemplary services just because the organization happens to be a religious one is just cruel," said Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.

    The Republican plan would, for example, let a Catholic church that provides Head Start services employ only Catholic child-care workers.

    Democrats and Republicans offered different interpretations of whether the Constitution, federal law and court rulings protected — or prevented — federally aided centers from hiring based on religion.

    "Congress should not be in the business of supporting state-sponsored discrimination," said Rep. Alcee Hastings (news, bio, voting record), D-Fla. Said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif.: "The (Republican) majority has decided to choose religious discrimination over what could have been a rare bipartisan agreement."

    Rep. John Boehner (news, bio, voting record) of Ohio, the Republican chairman of the House education committee, said former
    President Clinton signed four bills into law that allowed religiously based hiring. Boehner rejected appeals to withdraw the religion-based amendment. The House passed the amendment 220-196 along near party lines. Ten Democrats voted for it. That vote came before the final vote on the overall bill.

    Without a change in law, Boehner said, "Faith-based organizations are forced to relinquish their protected rights to hire individuals who share their beliefs."

    On academics, the bill would prod Head Start centers to work with school districts and teach to state academic standards or risk losing their federal money. That strategy of academic coordination helped win bipartisan support for the bill, very different from the last time.

    By a single vote in 2003, the House passed a bill that would have let up to eight states apply for control over Head Start, drawing opposition from every Democrat. That experimental shift in power died when Congress didn't pass a Head Start law that year, and the new bill does not include the provision.

    The bill would temporarily halt the federal test given to hundreds of thousands of 4-year-old and 5-year-old children in Head Start until a
    National Academy of Sciences review is completed.

    The
    Government Accountability Office found this year that the test, called the National Reporting System, has numerous flaws. Rep. Ron Kind (news, bio, voting record), D-Wis., asked for the suspension and Boehner agreed, saying the test should not be given until Congress is assured its results are accurate.

    The House bill, approved 48-0 by the chamber's education committee in May, would reauthorize the Head Start program through 2011. A similar measure in the Senate is pending.

  2. #2
    tarkenton10's Avatar
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    Re: Line between seperation of Church and State blurred.

    It only makes sense that the groups should be allowed to pick someone who has similar standards. Try and get into a g*y and lesian group with a differing view point and see if they hire you. NO dem. would think of saying it is discrimination because they are a voting block for the dems.

    They will find a way to rationalize why it is OK to hire only people with the same interests (G*Y groups) yet blast the religious group at the same time!!

    There s only two things stopping you - fear and common sense!! The Truth you CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Line between seperation of Church and State blurred.

    "tarkenton10" wrote:
    It only makes sense that the groups should be allowed to pick someone who has similar standards. Try and get into a g*y and lesian group with a differing view point and see if they hire you. NO dem. would think of saying it is discrimination because they are a voting block for the dems.

    They will find a way to rationalize why it is OK to hire only people with the same interests (G*Y groups) yet blast the religious group at the same time!!
    By law you are not able to discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, or religion. The federal government should require those receiving money to follow the law.

    The difference is that if a person who despises homosexuals should not be working in a group meant for them...a non-gay person definitely should be able to work for the organization. A company is not likely to hire someone who says on the interview, "I think that your company's stance is completely wrong...in fact, I find it an affront to God."

  4. #4
    ColoradoVike is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re: Line between seperation of Church and State blurred.

    This road leads to the tribalization of America. It's not good for democracy.

  5. #5
    tarkenton10's Avatar
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    Re: Line between seperation of Church and State blurred.

    How it should be and how it is are two different things. First off you don't have to despise someone to disagree with their life style. Second you are exactly right if someone despises a religious group and is against everything they stand for then he should not work for that group ( I just changed the homosexual to religious group to make a point - "The difference is that if a person who despises homosexuals should not be working in a group meant for them...a non-*** person definitely should be able to work for the organization."). How could anything be accomplished that way? If that person disagrees with his/her job and does not want it to succeed how will he/she will not be good at it.

    There s only two things stopping you - fear and common sense!! The Truth you CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
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    Re: Line between seperation of Church and State blurred.

    As far as Head start goes,It,and them can kiss my A$$.I will never forget when I was just starting out in my shop.Working 65 to 75 hours a week.In our small town there isn,t a whole lot to chose from far as babysitters.So I went to the local head start program.They told me I make to much money,I say well i work about 70 hours a week I promise you most people that use this service make more per hour than me.She said to bad i don,t qualify.I said ok,I,ll pay.That way your getting my money twice.She said i couldn,t do that.Well I won,t type in here what I said then since it would be censored all to hell anyway.So,what they are doing as far as hiring,is far more fair than what they did,or didn,t do for me and people like me.FU#* THEM!!!
    If winning isn,t everything,why keep score?

  7. #7
    tarkenton10's Avatar
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    Re: Line between seperation of Church and State blurred.

    Sounds like you are in a catch 22. If you work those hours you make toomuch and if you want to qaulify you have to work less and bring in less. That is the govt. for you, they reward the sloth and penalize the work horse!!

    There s only two things stopping you - fear and common sense!! The Truth you CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!

  8. #8
    SamDawg84 Guest

    Re: Line between seperation of Church and State blurred.

    i have never been to church and i dont plan on goin.. so i dont care about church and that state crap

  9. #9
    tarkenton10's Avatar
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    Re: Line between seperation of Church and State blurred.

    Sam dawg - that is what this country is about. I feel bad that you don't have faith in something but as long as you are civil to those who have a different view your choice is a fair one.

    There s only two things stopping you - fear and common sense!! The Truth you CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Line between seperation of Church and State blurred.

    I hate how they make it a Republican issue, saying that the right voted this in and this it's solely their fault when later in the article it says...

    President Clinton signed four bills into law that allowed religiously based hiring.

    So it's not just the right wingers who support this.

    I'm not saying I agree with it, I don't think the government should give money to any religiously affiliated organization. But I think it's unfair to pin the entire idea on the Republicans.

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