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Minnesota: Stops enforcement of dual enrollment law restricting faith-based colleges

In response to an ongoing lawsuit, Minnesota has made an agreement to refrain from enforcing a law that placed restrictions on the participation of faith-based colleges in a dual enrollment program. The law in question pertains to the Minnesota Post Secondary Enrollment Options program. Becket Law, an organization involved in the lawsuit, announced that the state has agreed not to enforce the revised provisions of the program. The program offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credit at no cost by completing college-level coursework during their high school years. However, recently approved revisions to the program have introduced restrictions that prevent colleges and universities from participating if they require students to adhere to a statement of faith or if they selectively admit students based on religious preference. The ongoing lawsuit argues that the revisions made to the program are in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Christian Post reports:

Minnesota has agreed not to enforce a law restricting the ability of faith-based colleges to participate in a dual enrollment program in response to an ongoing lawsuit.

In a statement released Wednesday, Becket Law announced that the state has agreed not to enforce revisions to the Minnesota Post Secondary Enrollment Options program.

The program enables high school students to obtain no-cost college credit at an institution of their choice for college-level work completed in high school.

However, the recently approved revisions prevent colleges and universities from participating in the program if they either require students to agree to a statement of faith or specifically select students on the basis of religious preference.

The amendment to the dual enrollment program prompted parents Mark Loe, Melinda Loe and Dawn Erickson, as well as the faith-based institutions Crown College and the University of Northwestern-St. Paul, to file a lawsuit last month in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota against Minnesota’s Democrat Gov. Tim Walz, Minnesota Commissioner of Education Willie Jett and the Minnesota Department of Education.

The suit contends that changes to the program violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution’s Free Exercise and Establishment Clause and the Equal Protection Clause’s ban on discrimination based on religion.

U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Brasel, appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump, issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday preventing the state from enforcing the revisions to the program while litigation moves forward.

Read the full article here.

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