Source: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
On June 17, 2003 the Americans United for Separation of Church and State reported that "Congressional leaders are trying to force a bill through Congress that would permit religious discrimination in staffing of Head Start and jeopardize the positions of thousands of teachers and parent volunteers... The popular tax-funded program is designed to provide academic instruction and health-care services for three- and four-year-olds, giving them a 'head start' before they begin kindergarten. Although Head Start is not a religious program, it is sometimes run by church groups in church facilities... Current law bans hiring on the basis of religion in Head Start programs. House leaders, acting at the behest of the Bush administration, want to drop that provision. As part of its 'faith-based' initiative, the White House is asking that all federal social service rules be changed to allow religious groups to discriminate in hiring on religious grounds while using public funds."