Biden Stimulus Bill Drives Catholic Schools Out of Early Childhood Services
Thomas Carroll, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Boston, told the Register the bill's proposed anti-discrimination provisions would be 'catastrophic.'
BOSTON - Catholic school officials are clamoring for changes to a proposed federal stimulus bill, saying that federal nondiscrimination rules may drive them out of early childhood education.
"The rules as they're written now would be catastrophic. It basically would force us to pull out of preschool and child care," said Thomas Carroll, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Boston, in a Nov. 30 telephone interview with the Register.
At issue is a portion of President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" bill that would provide about $400 billion in federal funds for child care and pre-kindergarten.
Catholic and other religious schools would theoretically be able to receive such funds - but they might also have to comply with federal rules prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion, among other things.
"It's putting religious institutions in a position in which, if they want to get the money, or to accept money that goes to parents, they have to enter a Faustian bargain in which they agree to basically give up their faith. In the Catholic Church, we have 2,000 years of Church teaching. We're not giving it up to get federal money for child care or pre-K, Carroll said during a roundtable discussion in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 1, sponsored by U.S. Senate Republicans.