Head start bill passed without 'faith-based' bias.


Congress has turned away efforts to remove civil rights protections from a bill reauthorizing Head Start, the popular preschool program that helps low-income families prepare their children for school.

In November, the U.S. Senate passed the Head Start reauthorization 95-0, following House passage earlier in the year. President George W. Bush signed the measure in December.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State helped lead a diverse coalition of public interest groups in supporting long-standing Head Start provisions that bar providers from discriminating in hiring and firing based on religion. Supporters of the Bush administration's "faith-based" initiative had worked to remove those civil rights protections.

Americans United's legislative department sent letters to lawmakers urging them to keep Head Start's...

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