The AACS Legislative Office monitors issues that affect the educational freedom and religious liberty of Christian schools.
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The Washington Flyer
December 18, 2015
“Nature reordered to match God's intent, nations obeying the call to repent, 
All of creation completely restored, filled with the knowledge and love of the Lord.

Little child whose bed is straw, take new lodgings in my heart. 
Bring the dream Isaiah saw: knowledge, wisdom, worship, awe.”

Lyrics from the song “The Dream Isaiah Saw”
New Education Law Includes Pro-Life Language
The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is being praised by pro-lifers for including language which prohibits funding for abortion, marking the first time an education bill includes such a provision. ESSA effectively replaces No Child Left Behind and was signed into law last week by President Obama. Until this point, such language was approved each year by including the Hyde amendment during the appropriations process when funding No Child Left Behind. The Hyde amendment dates back to 1976 and is a provision that is included as a rider in appropriations bills and prohibits the use of federal funds to cover abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger. Inclusion of the language in ESSA codifies the prohibition on abortion funding into the education law so that it no longer requires annual insertion of the Hyde amendment during the appropriations process. Although the bill received mixed reviews from conservatives, even organizations that do not normally follow educational matters vocalized support for the pro-life measure. Tom McClusky, vice-president of March for Life Action, stated, “House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline deserves high praise for taking this initiative. The truth of the matter is that the abortion industry receives taxpayer funding through various parts of the federal government. Chairman Kline saw the opportunity to stop one of those spigots and he turned it off, to the benefit of all taxpayers. While Americans seem divided on the issue of abortion, a large majority of the country agrees that taxpayers should not be subsidizing the abortion industry.” Other aspects of the bill that received praise from conservatives included the language to protect private, religious schools, and home schools from federal control, the language which prohibited the advancement of the Common Core standards and prohibited federal funding of any national standards and assessments, and the language which limited the power of the education secretary and federal government.


University that Upholds Biblical Standards Beats Challenge to its Law-school Accreditation
When a Christian university in Canada announced plans to start a law school in 2012, it faced intense opposition as law societies across Canada refused to grant accreditation to the school’s graduates because of the school’s position supporting the biblical definition of marriage. However, a recent ruling is offering protection for their religious liberty. The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently ruled that the Law Society of British Columbia cannot deny accreditation to Trinity Western University’s law school based on the school’s position upholding biblical teachings regarding what is appropriate sexual behavior. The decision means five Canadian provinces—Alberta, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and the Yukon—will now recognize TWU’s law school as accredited, giving graduates a stronger possibility in securing positions after law school. Alliance Defending Freedom International Executive Director Benjamin Bull
stated, “This case may well represent the beginning of the end of viewpoint based-discrimination against Christians and Christian institutions in Canada. It is a very positive step in the right direction. No one—including Christians—can be banned from their profession because they hold biblically based views, and no Christian institution of higher education can be sanctioned because it reflects essential tenets of the Christian religion.”


Pro Life

CA Churches File Lawsuit Over Health Insurance Mandate
A group of California churches has filed a
federal lawsuit against the California Department of Managed Health Care for mandating churches to provide health insurance coverage for elective abortions. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a legal organization that works diligently to protect religious liberty, is representing the seven churches and contends that the mandate isunlawful and unnecessary.” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley stated, “The government has no right to demand that church health insurance plans contain coverage for abortion—something that violates these churches’ most sincerely held religious beliefs. California is violating the Constitution by strong-arming churches into having this coverage in their plans.” When the mandate policy took effect in August 2014, complaints were filed and lawsuits threatened, but all went unheeded. “Because Obamacare requires health insurance coverage, and the California mandate requires abortion coverage in any health plan, these churches are truly left with no way to opt out of paying for abortions,” ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Jeremiah Galus stated. Lawsuits against the state have also been filed by two privately funded, church-based California crisis pregnancy centers regarding a new law that requires the centers to provide abortion information to their clients.


In Case You Missed It:

Weekly Market Update provided by Jeff Beach of the AACS Investment Team at Merrill Lynch
Ryan Anderson Speaks at LGBT Summit
Make Plans to Attend the March for Life - January 22, 2016
Coming Up -- National School Choice Week, January 24-30, 2016
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We wish a blessed Christmas season and Happy New Year to all our readers. The Washington Flyer will not be produced over the next two weeks, but will resume the first week of January 2016. May God bless you as you celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

American Association of Christian Schools
Jamison Coppola: Legislative Director
Maureen Van Den Berg: Policy Analyst

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