Eisenhower Gets Report on Problem of Religion in Public Schools

The problem of how religious institutions may cooperate with public schools remains unresolved in a report presented to President Eisenhower today by the President’s Committee for the White House Conference on Education Nor did the report determine the extent to which public schools may take cognizance of religious values.

The report urged continued study of the problems at the community, state, and national level in the light of the “strong differences of opinion” on the issues. It emphasized that the problems arising from the school’s aim to foster moral, ethical, and spiritual values in the student involve “widely different convictions about fundamental issues of theology and about the respective responsibilities of family, church, and school in religious education.”

Recognition of the principle of separation of church and state is the approach to solving the problem, the committee suggested. It said that judicial decisions on church-state relations have clarified only small parts of the whole question. It also recommended that the home, the church, the community, and the school must share responsibility in inculcating moral and spiritual values in the child.

The 50,000 word report represented the final act of a 34-member committee named by President Eisenhower to study the needs and problems of the nation’s school system. The conference program culminated last November when nearly 2,000 persons from all states and territories met in Washington for the nation’s first White House conference on education.

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