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New Trump Rule Strips Funding from Colleges Violating Student’s Free Speech, Religious Freedom

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The Trump administration is moving forward with a policy that expands protections for religious groups on college campuses and threatens to cut federal education funding to colleges that violate free speech rules.

The rule was issued by the Education Department on Wednesday and cements much of what President Donald Trump outlined in a March 2019 executive order demanding wider speech protections at U.S. colleges.

As part of the policy, the Education Department can suspend or terminate grants to public universities found in court to have violated the First Amendment. In extreme cases, schools could become ineligible for any further grants.

The same actions could be taken against private universities found in court to have violated their own speech codes.

Public universities could also lose funding if they fail to provide religious student groups the same rights and benefits as other campus groups, including the use of campus facilities and access to student fee funding.

That edict does not apply to private colleges, which have more flexibility in limiting speech on their campuses.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the new rule protects the rights of students, teachers and religious institutions.

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