Arizona Senate Republicans Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Grand Canyon University is Target of a Federal Government Witch Hunt Against Christian Education
PHOENIX, ARIZONA — Arizona Republican Lawmakers are speaking out against the federal government for targeting Grand Canyon University, in what appears to be a witch hunt against Christian education, by unjustly failing to recognize its nonprofit status in retaliation against the institution.
In a letter sent today to Miguel Cardona, the U.S. Secretary of Education under the Biden Administration, Senate President Warren Petersen, House Speaker Ben Toma, Senate and House Education Committee Chairs Ken Bennett and Beverly Pingerelli, as well as Senator Janae Shamp, are calling on the agency to quit the targeted actions against GCU aiming to detrimentally impact the largest Christian university in the nation.
"Under Joe Biden's watch, we not only have the Education Department, but also the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Veterans Affairs all coordinating an assault against Christian education by misclassifying GCU as a for-profit institution, enabling uncalled for scrutiny and damage against the reputation of this prestigious university that has only had the utmost positive impact on our students, our workforce and Arizona's economy," said President Petersen.
"It's concerning that an institution like GCU, which focuses specifically on providing educational opportunities for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds to strengthen our communities, has become the target of harmful federal government probes, strictly due to differences in political and ideological views. The more than 100,000 students who rely on this university to achieve their career goals are the ones who stand to lose," said Senator Bennett.
"GCU is being targeted by the weaponized Biden Administration simply because they are a faith-based college that is seeing a large growth to the student population, which is indicative of the large majority of Americans and Arizonans alike seeing the benefits this Christian university has to offer. We're demanding the Education Department stop the tyranny by recognizing GCU's nonprofit status, as other regulatory agencies have already done, and to quit using faculty, staff and students as political pawns while seeking vengeance for a lawsuit that GCU had no other choice but to file," said Senator Shamp.
"This vindictive move by the Department is unacceptable," said Speaker Toma. "GCU has a long history of nonprofit status and has made efforts to return to that status, a fact that has been recognized by a number of institutions such as the IRS and the NCAA. I hope this issue can be resolved quickly, for the good of the students and the university."
"If the Feds had any backbone, they’d visit GCU’s west Phoenix campus and explain themselves to the students— because that’s ultimately who bears the brunt of the enormous costs this battle places on the university. It’s high time they moved on and allow GCU to focus on delivering a high-quality education," said Representative Pingerelli.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus
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